Migration, even to a safe destination, can be traumatic. Forced migration, especially following an armed conflict, can have a wide range of psychosocial and other negative health consequences.
It is true that most refugees and asylum-seekers adjust to their new communities after displacement, but some will have invisible wounds that can cause intrapsychic and interpersonal dysfunction and lead to trans-generational transmission of the traumatic impact.
This chapter examines the unique challenges facing refugees in general, with a specific focus on Muslim refugees. It also touches on the trauma that refugee youth go through and how it might affect their psyche.
Finally, the chapter introduces culturally sensitive ways for healthcare professionals to help them navigate these dynamics.
Refugees Asylum-seekers Trauma Forced migration Cultural sensitivity Muslim ban Islamophobia
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Redfield R, Linton R, Herskovits M. Memorandum on the study of acculturation. Am Anthropol. 1936;38:149–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berry JW, Kim U, Minde T, Mok D. Comparative studies of acculturative stress. Int Migr Rev. 1987;21:491–51. 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murphy HBM. Migration and the major mental disorders. In: Kantor M, editor. Mobility and mental health. Springfield: Thomas; 1965. p. 221–49.Google Scholar
Fazel M, Wheeler J, Danesh J. Prevalence of serious mental disorder in 7000 refugees resettled in western countries. Lancet. 2005;365(9467):1309–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steel Z, Chey T, Silove D, Marnane C, Bryant RA, van Ommeren M. Association of torture and other potentially traumatic events with mental health outcomes among populations exposed to mass conflict and displacement: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2009;302:537–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Porter M, Haslam N. Predisplacement and postdisplacement factors associated with mental health of refugees and internally displaced persons: a meta-analysis. JAMA. 2005;294(5):602–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sinnerbrink I, Silove D, Field A, Steel Z, Manicavasagar V. Compounding of premigration trauma and postmigration stress in asylum seekers. J Psychol. 1997;131:463–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Turner SW, Bowie C, Dunn G, Shapo L, Yule W. Mental health of Kosovan Albanian refugees in the UK. Br J Psychiatry. 2003;182:444–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reda O. The war on terror: is there ever room for compassion. Am J Psychiatry. 2017;174(12):1144–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Awaad R, Reicherter D. Cultural perspectives in the context of western psychological mind-sets: the need for cultural sensitivity in the mental health of immigrant youth. In: Patel SG, Reicherter D, editors. Psychotherapy for immigrant youth. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing; 2016.Google Scholar
Amri S, Bemak F. Mental health help-seeking behaviors of Muslim immigrants in the United States: overcoming social stigma and cultural mistrust. J Muslim Ment Health. 2013;7(1):43–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar