Refugee and Immigrant mental health challenges due to Language barrier and cultural differences

Author(s): Naziha Mahmoud

Background: Language barrier and access to mental health services in refugee and immigrants. Refugees and immigrants experience
specific mental health challenges during the process of adaptation due to linguistic and cultural differences.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the relation between language barrier and lack of access to mental healthservices.

Method: Interviewed 19 refugees families including youth, children, and women who attended the clinic for anxiety PTSD, stress and stress related issues mainly from Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia for a period of 6 months. Using Eurostat data from 2016-to 2017 to show the number of refugees from the horn of Africa (34,245). In addition, reviewed previous publications from the 1990s. CAMH refugee mental health webinar provides extensive, studies about refugee and the confusing health care strategies in addressing immigrant mental health

Results: The results from interviewing refugees in the clinic showed that there is a strong link between mental health and lack of access to the available health care services due to language and communication difficulties. In particular women were suffering of ongoing abuse. Even where there are trained interpreters who are competent and appropriate to work with women in abusive situations, there are so few of these people available that few women have real access to their help. Sometimes you have to rely on people who are not trained properly. They feel inferior and humiliated because their personal life has become public knowledge. It is hard to answer phone calls or even asking for directions cannot be done, let alone to seek medical attention.