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Migration refers to people moving from one location to another. Migration can include crossing national borders or can be within a country (internal migration) (1). There are many reasons for migration, such as finding a new job, looking for a better quality of life, joining family, or moving to escape political persecution or natural disasters (2).



Risk and/or Protective Factor

Accessing improved services and having a growth in income has been linked to improvements in mental health in migrants (3).

On the other hand, migration has also been linked to an increased risk of mental health issues and stress (4). As a result of migration, people may experience loss of social networks, discrimination, language barriers, culture shock and economic difficulties, which may lead to distress (5). Language barriers also reduce access to health care (6), which can further influence mental health difficulties.



1.        Knolle J, Poskett J. Introduction. In: Poskett J, Knolle J, editors. Migration [Internet]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2020. p. 1–4. (Darwin College Lectures). Available from:

2.        Boyle P, Boyle PJ. Exploring contemporary migration. Halfacree K, Robinson V, editors. Harlow: Harlow : Longman; 1998.

3.        Stillman S, McKenzie D, Gibson J. Migration and mental health: Evidence from a natural experiment. J Health Econ. 2009;28(3):677–87.

4.        World Health Organization. The World Health Report 2001: Mental Health : New Understanding, New Hope. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2001.

5.        Bhugra D. Migration and mental health. Acta Psychiatr Scand [Internet]. 2004 Apr 1 [cited 2021 Jan 18];109(4):243–58. Available from:

6.        Rasi S. Impact of language barriers on access to healthcare services by immigrant patients: A systematic review [Internet]. Vol. 15, Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management. Australasian College of Health Service Management; 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 25]. p. 271. Available from: