Authors : J. LINDERT, M. SCHOULER-OCAK, A. HEINZ, S. PRIEBE
Background : Migration during the 1990s has been high and has been characterised by new migrations. Migration has been a key force in the demographic changes of the European population. Due to the different condition of migration in Europe, variables related to mental health of migrants are: motivation for migration, living conditions in the home and in the host country.
Aims : To give an overview on (i) prevalence of mental disorders; suicide; alcohol and drug abuse; (ii) access to mental health and psychosocial care facilities of migrants in the European region, and (iii) utilisation of health and psychosocial institution of these migrants.
Methods : Non-system review of the literature concerning mental health disorders of migrants and their access to and their consumption of health care and psychosocial services in Europe.
Results : It is impossible to consider “migrants” as a homogeneous group concerning the risk for mental illness. The literature showed (i) mental health differs between migrant groups, (ii) access to psychosocial care facilities is influenced by the legal frame of the host country; (iii) mental health and consumption of care facilities is shaped by migrants used patterns of help-seeking and by the legal frame of the host country.
Conclusion : Data on migrant’s mental health is scarce. Longitudinal studies are needed to describe mental health adjusting for life conditions in Europe to identify those factors which imply an increased risk of psychiatric disorders and influence help seeking for psychosocial care. In many European countries migrants fall outside the existing health and social services, particularly asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants.
Key words : migrants, mental health, access, psychosocial services consumption