Asylum seekers, refugees, and forced migrants experience displacement due to involuntary movement away from their homes for reasons including natural disasters, armed conflicts, and violations of human rights (1,2).
Forced migration is a risk factor for mental health difficulties and has been associated with high levels of distress, which can persist long-term (3). Experiences of refugees and asylum seekers are risk factors for mental health difficulties, such as exposure to war, poor living conditions, and uncertainty (4). These groups face an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (5). Furthermore, refugees and asylum seekers often experience barriers to obtaining mental health care (4).
1. UNHCR. UNHCR Global Trends, Forced Displacement in 2014. 2015.
2. UNHCR. UNHCR Global Report 2005. 2006.
3. Jakobsen M, Meyer DeMott M, Wentzel-Larsen T, Heir T. The impact of the asylum process on mental health: a longitudinal study of unaccompanied refugee minors in Norway. B. BMJ Open [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2021 Jan 20];7. Available from: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/7/6/e015157.full.pdf
4. Satinsky E, Fuhr DC, Woodward A, Sondorp E, Roberts B. Mental health care utilisation and access among refugees and asylum seekers in Europe: A systematic review. Health Policy (New York). 2019 Sep 1;123(9):851–63.
5. Porter M, Haslam N. Predisplacement and postdisplacement factors associated with mental health of refugees and internally displaced persons: A meta-analysis. J Am Med Assoc [Internet]. 2005 Aug 3 [cited 2021 Feb 23];294(5):602–12. Available from: www.jama.com