New inform on Mapping of mental health policies for third-country national migrants
A new inform on Mapping of mental health policies for third-country national migrants has just been published by the EMN. This inform maps the policies in place to help legally-residing migrants access mental health services in the EU.
In most Member States, once an individual has been granted legal status to remain on the territory, they have the same access to mental health services as national and resident EU citizens. However, access to services often presents several challenges for both migrants and Member States. For migrants, these range from practical issues such as language barriers, lack of information, difficulties in accessing mainstreamed services, high costs, and long waiting lists, to social and cultural issues including stigma, taboo, lack of awareness, lack of trust, and socioeconomic disadvantages. From the Member States’ perspective, challenges include language and cultural differences between migrants and practitioners and a lack of financial and human resources or specific expertise to support migrants.
To overcome these barriers, Member State priorities include developing national policies and strategies for promoting migrants’ social integration, clarifying and sharing information on entitlements to care, and ensuring that the mental health workforce is trained to work with migrants. Research indicates that migrants, particularly those who were forced to flee their country of origin, may be at higher risk of developing mental health conditions. This may be due to exposure to stressors before, during and after the migration process. Early interventions and support can target and minimise those risks.