Mental Healthcare for Survivors of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking: A Single Point-in-Time, Internet-Based Scoping Study of Third Sector Provision
Lazzarino R., Wright N., Jordan M.
In response to extreme violence and psychological abuse, survivors of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking can experience complex mental health problems. Despite being a major public health issue, the evidence base for post-slavery mental health support needs and service provision is lacking. The aim of this study was to scope the mental health provision available to survivors globally. A single point-in-time, Internet-based scoping study of on-line evidence sources was performed, guided by Levac and colleagues’ six-staged framework. Service providers meeting inclusion criteria were 325. Most were located in Asia and South America, catered for a female population, and could be categorized as Christian Faith Based. Two overarching themes (Characteristics of Provision and Types of Mental Health Support) accounted for the results, each including ten sub-themes. Survivors’ mental healthcare was found to be informed by various models and to exist within a nexus of care whereby several services are offered to different vulnerable populations. Little information of evidence-based interventions and monitoring and evaluation was found. The study’s results are limited in scope of influence due to the Internet-based design and should be taken cautiously. More empirical, multidisciplinary, and multi-stakeholder research is required to improve understanding of survivors’ support needs and to inform policies and practices that are culturally competent, survivor-centered, gender-inclusive and empowering.