Study published: Exploring mental health challenges among forced migrants – perspectives from health professionals


In a paper recently published in Culture, Health & Society, researchers present results from a study exploring health professionals’ descriptions and interpretations of mental health among forced migrants of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. Several challenges were identified, including stressful circumstances during the asylum process.   

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Mental health among forced migrants
Forced migration poses significant challenges, including psychological distress, for individuals with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. They face persecution and oppression, and often experience mental health burdens including PTSD and depression. The aim of this study was to explore how health professionals describe and interpret mental health among this group of forced migrants.

Focus groups and interviews
Health professionals representing seven professions, took part in focus groups and individual interviews. The researchers analysed data with systematic text condensation, in collaboration with clinicians and migrants with lived experiences.

Psychological distress
The study found that forced migrants experience significant psychological distress due to their demanding journeys and challenges during arrival in host countries. The psychological distress includes emotions of loneliness and shame. The authors suggest that the identified psychological and societal challenges should be taken into account when developing tailored interventions, such as peer support programmes.

Read the paper ‘Mental health and societal challenges among forced migrants of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions: health professionals’ descriptions and interpretations’. It is written by Maria Gottvall, Rogers Kissiti, Ronah Ainembabazi, Hannah Bergman, Anna Eldebo, Rummage Isaac, Sumera Yasin, Maria Jirwe, and Tommy Carlsson.

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Last modified: 2023-03-24