Migration and Mental Health Database

Compiled by a scientific committee of international academics in collaboration with Christine Diacon and Hoang-Mai Diep of the Documentation Center of the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies / nccr-on the move, National Center of Competence in Research at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), the ‘Migration and Mental Health’ database is a comprehensive collection of academic resources which focuses specifically on the topic of migration and mental health. To understand mental health, we draw on the definition provided by the World Health Organization whereby: ‘Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’ As such, it incorporates a significant consideration of the social, cultural, political and economic environment. We are specifically interested in focusing on the mental health issues related to vulnerable populations and forced migration – the coerced movement of a person or persons away from their home or home region – including undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and refugee populations.

The database uses bibliographic research technologies to identify new publications with the selection of keyword attributions ensured by an international scientific committee of expert academics in the field. The project consists of a fully searchable online version of the bibliography of scientific publications from the year 2000 to the present, with systematic and continual updates from September 2016. It thus aims to provide a free major hub for those concerned about issues of mental health among migrant populations. As such, it is open to those in an academic field (researchers, teachers, students, lecturers), practitioners working clinically with this populations who would like to update their academic knowledge as well as interested citizens. All are warmly invited to add to this collaborative project by submitting articles to the scientific committee.

Members of the Scientific Committee


Betty Goguikian Ratcliff

betty-picBetty Goguikian Ratcliff is a Senior lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Geneva.  She is head of the Intercultural Clinical Psychology Research Unit.  Her research activities focus on three main topics: the psychopathology of migrants and refugees, the acculturation process and adaptation strategies, and intercultural communication/mediation in the therapeutic process. In addition to her academic work, BGR has been envolved, for nearly fifteen years, in Appartenances-Genève, an association providing mental health care to refugees and other immigrant people.

Laure Kloetzer

Prof. Ass. Lalaure-picure Kloetzer has joined the Centre for Research in Sociocultural Psychology at the University of Neuchâtel, after a PhD in Psychology and a few years of teaching and research as a MCF (Maître de Conférences) in Paris (Cnam, Chaire de Psychologie du Travail). Laure Kloetzer is interested in the learning and creative activity in adults – in citizen science, in the workplace, and more recently, in the work of land artists and novelists. She is also interested in reflective, developmental and collaborative research, innovative research methodologies, and how social sciences can support social transformation through the engagement of the people. In this context, she is interested by the relations between institutional policies, collective action and subjectivity. Her research draws on cultural-historical psychology and especially on Lev Vygotsky’s work, and its further developments, in the study of language, dialogue and activity.

Renos Papadopoulos

Renos pic.pngRenos K. Papadopoulos is Professor of Analytical Psychology at the ‘Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies’, Director of the ‘Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees’ (CTAR), as well as a member of the ‘Human Rights Centre’, and of the ‘Transitional Justice Network’ at the University of Essex. In addition, he is Honorary Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Family Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic, in London. He is the founder and director of the MA /PhD Programme in Refugee Care that is offered jointly by the University of Essex and the Tavistock Centre. His private practice includes work with individuals and families as well as supervising trainees in Jungian psychoanalysis and systemic family psychotherapy. As consultant to the United Nations and other organizations, he has been working with refugees, tortured persons and other survivors of political violence and disasters in many countries. He lectures and offers specialist trainings internationally and his writings have been published in fourteen languages.


Gail Womersley

gail-picGail Womersley has recently joined the University of Neuchâtel as a doctoral assistant. Before joining the university, she worked with Médecins Sans Frontières as a clinical psychologist in projects assisting refugee and internally displaced populations in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has also worked with other non-governmental organizations in Israel and the United Kingdom, as well as for the Department of Health and the Department of Defense in South Africa. She is particularly interested in cross-cultural manifestations of trauma and its implications for legal and social policy as well as clinical practice.