Refugee and asylum seeker communities and access to mental health support: A local case study

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Aims - The complex mental health needs of refugee and asylum seeker (RAS) communities, often resulting from past trauma, are not met by overburdened and inadequate service provision. Pre-displacement, in-transit, and post-settlement traumas create a specific set of mental health needs which underfunded mental health services often cannot meet, despite the illusion of access to a range of services. This paper aims to explore how a range of stakeholders responded to inadequate provision at the local level.
Methods - Interviews and focus groups with regional stakeholders, charities and RAS community groups, which were conducted as part of wider mixed-methods project on international migration in Northern England, revealed several gaps in provision.
Results - Findings indicate that charities and community groups are often left to fill the gap and provide signposting and liaison with local authorities. However, these groups are often ill-equipped to provide sufficient support but the absence of commissioned services leaves limited options.
Conclusions - We conclude by suggesting that further research is necessary on trauma, RAS communities, and the pathways to mental health support.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Early online date4 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2022

Bibliographical note

This study was funded by Controlling Migration Fund, Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government.


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