A Problem that Crosses Borders: Mental Health in Migrants

BY: Laura Pinzón | Neighbors’ Consejo|

Migration is defined as “the movement of people over some distance and from one ‘usual place of residence’ to another[1] “. According to the American Immigration Council, in 2019 there were[2]  44.9 million immigrants in the United States, which comprised 14% of the national population. America is, after all, a nation of immigrants. As such, it begs the question: what mental health issues do migrants have?

As The World Health Organization (WHO) explains, the mental health of migrants can be affected in four stages: Pre-migration, migration travel and transit, post-migration, integration, and settlement, within which conditions such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been identified[3]  as occurring.

WHO also mentions that there are different barriers that make this situation even more difficult for migrants, such as the centers where they are concentrated, like schools or churches, or their belonging to some type of LGBTIQ + population, or solutions to legal problems, social assistance due to their cultural differences, etc. We can learn more details at https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-and-forced-displacement.

But there is always hope. There are many ways to closely support migrants, for example listening to them, or simply supporting organizations that provide mental health services to them, or volunteering and spreading the word on social networks that mental health is a matter of concern to all of us and knows no borders.[4] 

Refrences

 [1]https://www.jstor.org/stable/20853242

 [2]https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/immigrants-in-the-united-states

 [3]https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-and-forced-displacement

 [4]https://www.ilcm.org/latest-news/five-things-you-can-do-to-support-immigrants-and-refugees/

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