Mental Health of Children of Immigrants and Ethnic Minorities in Europe
Tanveer Sandhu and Faizal Moosa
Affiliation: Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Birmingham Children's Hospital, UK, Finch Road CAMHS Centre, Lozells, B191 HS, Birmingham, UK.
Goals: The geo-political and socio-economic landscape of Europe has undergone significant changes since the
World Wars creating challenges for both health policy makers and health service providers. This paper aims to review
immigration trends in Europe and identify problems and needs of immigrant and ethnic minority children and youth with
respect to mental health services.
Methods: Published reports and studies on mental health of immigrant and ethnic minority youth are reviewed and
Results: Data show immigrant and ethnic minority youth in the European Union consistently experience discrimination,
marginalization and stigmatization, which increases their risk for mental health problems. The stigmatization of mental
health problems within their groups decreases their propensity to seek mental health services or to respond to
interventions when they are offered.
Conclusions: The most vulnerable population with respect to having poor health profiles and outcomes are immigrants
and ethnic minorities ; within these groups are many children and young people with mental health problems. In societies
with higher rate of immigration such as Europe it is important that mental health services are both accessible and
culturally sensitive. Using various evidence based interventions in appropriate setting would improve mental health of
these children and prevent developing serious mental health disorders. Are mental health services and interventions geared
to meet the needs of these population groups in a culturally sensitive and appropriate way?
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