WHO guidance: Mental health promotion and mental health care in refugees and migrants

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In November 2018, WHO released this publication addressing the topic of mental health care promotion in refugees and migrants.

The experience of migration can be complex and stressful, related to events before departure, during travel and transit, and after arrival. Consequently, refugees and migrants can suffer from mental disorders, although prevalence is highly variable across studies and population groups.

This technical guidance reviews the prevalence of some disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive and anxiety disorders. Based on best-available evidence regarding risk factors and areas for intervention, eight key priority action areas are identified for consideration by policy-makers regarding the mental health of refugees and migrants.

While different countries may be more or less able to adapt depending on their baseline capacity, areas and models for intervention to promote mental health and provide good mental health care to refugee and migrant groups include social integration, facilitating access to care, fostering engagement with care and treating patients with manifest disorders.

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