A new service of psychological counselling will be rendered to the residents of the Migrants Accommodation Centre in Chisinau. Such service has been a pressing need at the Centre ever since its setting-up over a decade ago. Psychological counselling of foreigners is an increasing priority especially now, amidst the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in neighbouring Ukraine.
The Migrants Accommodation Centre is the public custody facility under the Moldovan Bureau for Migration and Asylum which hosts temporarily the foreigners who are either ordered to be returned/expulsed or declared undesirable. Due to various circumstances, including the difficulties related to proper travel documentation, the foreigners may spend months in the Centre before their actual release for return. This situation poses risks to the mental health and well-being of the residents.
The lack of psychological services has been a gap constantly reported at the Centre, including by the Moldovan Ombudsman Office – a key partner and beneficiary and in the project the “Capacity for a Rights-Based Reception System for Moldova” (CareFor). In close consultation with the Bureau for Migration and Asylum, a qualified psychologist has been identified to pay regular visits and counsel the foreigners held at the Migrants Accommodation Centre. Moreover, the psychologist would develop procedures, templates, and other specific tools for establishing a sustainable psychological counselling practice there.