Health and wellbeing

We have gathered information for refugee women about health and wellbeing

Click on the links below to go directly to information on:

General health 

Pregnancy and baby care

Keeping fit and healthy

Mental health and wellbeing

Sexual health


You can also take a look at the Asylum Seeking Women, Violence and Health: Where to get Information, Advice and Help leaflet.


Pregnancy and baby care

Understanding pregnancy and parenting: A guide for young asylum seekers and refugees  Chrysalis guide (British Red Cross, 2011).  

Asylum Support Services – Help and Advice: Maternity payments for parents seeking asylum (Refugee Council, 2013).

Mood disorders during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby: a booklet for women and their families (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, 2012).

Depression during and after pregnancy (Depression Alliance, 2003).

Off to the best start: Important information for feeding your baby (Department for Health, 2010).

Breastfeeding your baby (UNICEF, 2010). A leaflet for new mothers with useful information on how to breastfeed successfully, including positioning and attachment, tips for success and a section on expressing your breast milk by hand.

Out and about with your baby (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, 2011). Parents’ Guide to Breastfeeding and Baby Changing facilities in the Greater Glasgow & Clyde area.

You can also call The National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 (9.30am-9.30pm) for help with breastfeeding.

The young parent survival guide (NHS Health Scotland).

Information on post-natal depression  ̶ The Royal College of Psychiatrist.

The Baby Friendly Initiative ̶ UNICEF UK. Free, downloadable information leaflets on topics such as sterilising baby feeding equipment, how to prepare a bottle feed using powder milk and how to reduce the risks of cot death.

Maternity Action provides information on NHS maternity care, benefits, tax credits, employment rights and the maternity entitlements of parents. Since maternity rights vary according to a person’s immigration status, separate information sheets are provided. The information sheet, ‘Which information sheet to use’, explains the different forms of immigration status and which may apply to you. 

Talk To Your Baby Campaign – National Literacy Trust has produced a series of quick tips for parents and practitioners to help children develop good talking and listening skills. Each sheet is available bilingually in 13 languages.

Crossreach Counselling Services (Ante/Postnatal Depression) offers counselling (with crèche facilities) to pregnant women and new mothers.

Multi-Cultural Family Base (Edinburgh) provides a range of services to vulnerable children, young people and their families. If you have children or are expecting a baby, MCFB can help you and your family through regular home-visits or in one of our groups. Open weekdays 9am - 5pm, 50 Coburg Street, Edinburgh EH6 6HE. Call 0131 467 7052, email:


Keeping fit and healthy

Free milk, fruit, veg and vitamins for you and your family (Healthy Start, 2011). If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods. This important means-tested scheme provides vouchers to spend with local shops.

Enjoy Harmony  ̶  Free Yoga class for female asylum seekers. Good for reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood, depression, strength, flexibility, and self-confidence. To find out when classes are held telephone 0770 804 4560 or email

Maryhill Integration Network  ̶  Yoga classes at Maryhill Community Centre, 1st floor, 35 Avenuepark Street G20 8TS. Times may vary and spaces are limited, so please phone to book: 0141 946 9106 or email

Scottish African Women’s Association runs fitness, dance, and netball groups. Fitness sessions are usually held on Saturdays, and members are informed via text message.To get up-to-date information on what’s going on or to join a group you can contact Angeline Gutsa directly on 07572 825 713 or email:

Minority Ethnic Health Inclusion Service (Edinburgh) aims to link black, minority ethnic and refugee communities with primary healthcare services across Lothian. Free confidential information and advice. Languages spoken include: English, Arabic, Chinese, Bengali, Nepali, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi. Contact Craigmillar Health Centre, Edinburgh EH16 4DT or call 0131 536 9544. You can also email: for more information.


Mental health and wellbeing

Women in Crisis Project – British Red Cross Refugee Services Offers one-to-one social and emotional support, helping women to access their basic rights and rebuild their lives. For more information, contact British Red Cross Refugee Services in Glasgow.

Saheliya (Edinburgh & Glasgow)  offers therapeutic services for black and minority ethnic women including therapeutic counselling in a variety of languages, art therapy, dance therapy, complementary therapies, befriending, advocacy and practical support, group work and youth work. Childcare services can be arranged for service users. Visit Saheliya at 125 McDonald Road, Edinburgh EH7 4NW Telephone the Edinburgh office on 0131 556 9302 or email for more information.

Victim Support Scotland offers emotional support, practical help and essential information to victims, witnesses and others affected by crime.

Therapeutic Care: Reducing stress through gentle massage ̶ British Red Cross. The therapeutic care service helps individuals in stressful situations and at times of personal crisis by promoting a sense of well-being and relaxation through gentle massage. For more information, call the Glasgow office on 0141 891 4000.

Care in the Home – British Red Cross. Help and support for people following a short stay in hospital. The support is offered by volunteers and the service includes: rebuilding confidence, collecting prescriptions, offering companionship and assistance with shopping. For more information call the Glasgow office on 0141 331 4170.

Greater Pollok Integration Network ̶ Stress Therapies. Relax with aromatherapy massage. Tues afternoons by appointment – please call to book. Greater Pollok Integration Network community flat, Flat 11, 70 Kennishead Ave., Glasgow G46 8RP. Contact: 0141 649 2000 or email

Lifelink offers support for dealing with high stress levels more effectively.  Specific information is available on anxiety and/or depression, trauma, personal problems, debt and self-harm and suicide. For more information on courses and services in your area, phone 0141 552 4434 or email

Breathing Space Scotland is a free, confidential phone and web based service for people in Scotland experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety. Call 0800 83 85 87 (Monday-Thursday: 6pm - 2am; Friday – Monday:6pm - 6am).

Living Well in Glasgow is a health and wellbeing, community based project for people who have come to live in Britain from a different culture and climate. The aim of the project is to provide information and raise awareness of health and environment issues. For more information: 0141 946 6193 or email:

Glasgow Association for Mental Health promotes the mental health and wellbeing of people and their communities. Visit the office at St. Andrews by the Green, 33 Turnbull Street, Glasgow, G1 5PR or call 0141 552 5592.

Samaritans offers confidential emotional support to those experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including suicidal thoughts. Call their helpline number for free anytime, from any phone: 116 123.


Sexual health

Sandyford Health Clinic provides sexual health services across the whole of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde from its main base at Sandyford Central and 17 local clinics. Sandyford services can provide you with all the information and help you need when it comes to sexual, reproductive and emotional health. Sandyford also provides free condoms.

Information leaflets on sexually transmitted diseases.

Information leaflets about drop-in services in your area.

You can also visit the central Sandyford Health Clinic at 2-6 Sandyford Place, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G3 7NB or call 0141 211 8130.



HIV Scotland has information on how HIV is passed on and prevented as well as advice on where to go for testing. If you are worried about HIV, know someone with HIV or would simply like to know more, there are a number of leaflets which you can download from the website. The website also has a list of phone numbers and web addresses for places where you can go to for more information.

Waverley Care – African Health Project provides services and support about HIV for African individuals in Scotland. Support and advice is offered on immigration status, housing, health, finance, training and employment. For more information, call the Glasgow office on: 0141 332 2520 or email:

Terrence Higgins Trust promotes better sexual health and offers testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases through their HIV Clinics and Community Sexual Health Services. The website also has advice on benefits, housing and employment for those with HIV, and leaflets that you can download on topics such as living with HIV, rights and entitlements, help and advice for African communities and how to tell your family members you have HIV.