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People arrive in the UK hoping to finally feel safe, but they face long waits and uncertainty for a decision on their asylum claim. People like Fawad are pushed into depression and mental health crises without support. They feel lost and forgotten.  

But you can be a lifeline of support for those left in this limbo. 

Fawad is a single father to an 11 year old son and seven year old daughter. They have now spent three years in the asylum system waiting for a decision on their asylum claim. 

Three years without the ability to work and provide for his family, or the security of a home for his children.  

Fawad claimed asylum as soon as he arrived in the UK and had his screening interview shortly after this. But he had to wait over a year for his second interview, this is needed for his claim to be decided. Then in a very rare move, the government didn’t make a clear decision and instead asked him to attend another interview. 

“My solicitor was shocked; this is quite unprecedented.  

If they give yes or no, at least I’d have an answer. But they keep me in limbo. It seems the Home Office is in a psychological war with me. 

My mental health is deteriorating, I’ve developed severe depression and anxiety.”  

The asylum system takes a tremendous toll on a person’s wellbeing. Isolation, loneliness, and suicidal ideation are dominant among the people our services reach.  

Fawad is from the Bedoon community in a secluded area of Kuwait. Bedoon people are discriminated against because of their ethnicity. They are stripped of their rights, are often pushed into poverty, and are denied access to essential services.  

He became a single father and widower when his wife passed away after their local hospital refused to admit her when she fell ill. His children lost their mother because of discrimination.  

“I wish I had a country, an embassy, a home, that could protect me and my children, somewhere safe. We are not recognised as human, nobody accepts us. I feel like I escaped one prison where I had no rights, to become stuck in another place where I’m being treated the same.   

Even now, in the UK, we still don’t have a life yet.”

“My innocent children are paying a very high price.

It seems The Government here enjoys torturing us. 

Unfortunately, Fawad’s story is not one of a kind.  

Our service teams report that poor mental health is something that many of the people we reach suffer from. People feel like they are locked away in this system, waiting, forgotten about. They want to feel heard and be able to provide for themselves and build a future.  

With your support, Refugee Action can continue working in partnership with mental health and wellbeing organisations to offer signposting, therapy sessions, wellbeing groups and peer support meetups to people in the asylum system.  

You can play a vital role in ensuring that people like Fawad aren’t left to fight their mental health challenges alone.