Understanding: One of the important points of the validation section, is to keep in mind the fact that people have no control of war, dictatorship, trafficking and not having basic human rights. In that case what we do not need to know why people left their countries and had to seek asylum in the UK. Settling as an asylum seeker or refugee is a very hard and stressful process and people go through difficult mental health situations.
Challenges: One of the big challenges in this part is that people have to tell their stories over and over to the Home Office and other government services, which unfortunately can re-traumatise them. Community projects are built to support them to get out of their stressful situation and support them to engage with society. So it’s important to know that some people from forced migration background tend to share their story without knowing that there is no need to go through their trauma.
Recognition: It’s important to notice if someone is over sharing their story and feeling uncomfortable. You can easily interrupt them by having a reason to leave the room, such as going to the bathroom, and informing one of the staff or managers to help you with the conversation. They know how to use distraction to an activity to help the participant to shift their mind set to something else. Because sometimes it will also be uncomfortable for you to listen to that, so make sure that you politely come out and shift the atmosphere by distraction, with the help of a member of the staff or the facilitator.