Child and Adolescent Refugee Mental Health in Brazil: Literature Review and a Family Case Report
Renata Teixeira da Silva, Francisco Lotufo Neto and Norbert Skokauskas
Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin Ireland and Department of Psychiatry, Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Keywords: Refugees, asylum-seekers, child and adolescent mental health, Brazil, Latin America, Iraqi refugees
Background: Forcibly displaced children and adolescents may be exposed to continued risks to their healthy
development in their new low- and middle-income countries. However, previous studies have focused mainly on those resettled
in high-income countries.
Objectives: We sought to present a family case report and to review the literature on the mental health of child and adolescent
refugees in Brazil.
“child and adolescent,” “mental health,” “refugee,” “asylum,” “low and middle income country,” “developing countries,”
“migration” “Latin America,” “Brazil.” Sources such as official reports of United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees
and Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Health were also used. A family case is presented to illustrate mental health issues
of young refugees in Brazil.
Results: While the majority of the world’s refugees move within the developing World, few studies were found to assess
pediatric mental health in low- and middle-income countries. There were no studies conducted in Brazil, whose asylumseeker
and refugee population is increasing.
Conclusions: Migrant children and adolescent mental health have not been yet addressed in a systematic way in Brazil,
where the mental health of children and adolescents is an evolving discipline. Assessment of mental health needs of the
small but increasing number of asylum-seeking and refugee youths in Brazil is necessary if appropriate mental health care
to this population is to be provided.
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