Supporting the Supporters of Unaccompanied Migrant Youth: Designing for Social-ecological Resilience

by   Franziska Tachtler, et al.

Unaccompanied migrant youth, fleeing to a new country without their parents, are exposed to mental health risks. Resilience interventions mitigate such risks, but access can be hindered by systemic and personal barriers. While much work has recently addressed designing technology to promote mental health, none has focused on the needs of these populations. This paper presents the results of interviews with 18 professional/ volunteer support workers and 5 unaccompanied migrant youths, followed by three design workshops. The results point to the diverse systems that can facilitate youths' resilience development. The relationship between the youth and volunteers acting as mentors is particularly important for increasing resilience but comes with challenges. This suggests the relevance of a social-ecological model of resilience with a focus on designing technology to support the mentors in order to help them better support the youth. We conclude by mapping out the design space for mentor support.



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