The synergy of the refugee crisis and the financial crisis in Greece: Impact on mental health

Author(s): Dimitris C. ANAGNOSTOPOULOS ; George GIANNAKOPOULOS ; Nikos G. CHRISTODOULOU

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0020764017700444

Abstract

The current global financial crisis that started in 2008 resulted in a significant decline in global trade, slowing/reversing economic growth worldwide, and a dramatic increase in public sector debt. At the same time, the global migrant/refugee crisis has reached extreme rates, with millions of people being forced to abandon their homes and communities because of war, political violence or related threats. There is a broad consensus about the deleterious consequences of these crises on psychological well-being, depression, anxiety disorders, insomnia, alcohol abuse and suicidal behavior. Although the separate consequences of economic recession and immigration are extensively discussed in previous research, we know very little about the processes through which the intersection of economic crisis and migrant crisis contributes to the vulnerabilities of natives and migrants during these crises. Of particular concern is the status of children, adolescents and their families, who constitute one of the most vulnerable groups in society.

To discuss the contexts that economic and migrant crises shape and suggest possible effects of this intersection on mental health risks, especially among children, adolescents and their families, through reflecting on the recent experience in Greece.

Review of the literature and critical analysis of the effects of the confluent crises.

The interactive effects of these two crises need further exploration. Novel and diverse models of psychological understanding need to be developed in order to manage the effects of the confluent crises. The role of mental health professionals is crucial in this respect, offering culturally flexible, accommodating and empathetic approaches, allowing healing and acceptance in the face of adversity.

Tags: Greece, Refugees, Children, Adolescents, Youth, Families, Depression, Anxiety, Sleep disorders, Alcohol, Substance abuse, Suicidality

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