Migration and Mental Health: A Matrix of Variables

  • Philip Horsman Rack


Migration and Mental Health has been of interest to Transcultural psychiatrists for years, and there are at least two good reasons for this. One one hand, migration provides an opportunity to study some effects of massive environmental changes on individuals and groups and observe adaptation processes. We know that the adaptability of an organism to environmental changes is one of the prerequisites of success in biological terms, and we can probably translate this axiom into sociological terms. At present, our species as a whole faces greater adaptility challenges than ever before: the migrant, able to move from one social environment to a profoundly different one while retaining his identity and sanity, is a person well worth of study. Secondly, there are immediate practical considerations. In every major city in the world there are communities of people who have arrived there from elsewhere, often from different cultures. If such people are likely to develop mental illness with greater or lesser frequency than the rest of the population, or their illnesses differ in form and content, then those who practise psychiatry in such cities need to know about those differences.


Mental Illness Migrant Worker Holocaust Survivor Cultural Psychiatry Rural Periphery 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Horsman Rack
    • 1
  1. 1.Lynfield Mount HospitalW. YorkshireEngland

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