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Barriers to access to mental health services for migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers

Wendy Franks (Waveney Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust)
Nicola Gawn (Canterbury Christchurch University, Salomons)
Gillian Bowden (Waveney Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 1 March 2007

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Abstract

This paper reports findings from a qualitative study of the mental health needs of refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers living in an East Anglian seaside town with high rates of socio‐economic deprivation. Nine key informants were recruited from people working with refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers, and from people who were either members of, or had extensive knowledge of the issues affecting the relevant communities. Barriers were reported both at the stage of seeking services and in accessing services once sought. Barriers to seeking services included different understandings of mental health problems, lack of acknowledgement, discussion and prioritisation of mental health problems, stigma, lack of knowledge of services, fear of authority and lack of trust. Barriers to access included previous negative experiences of accessing NHS services, resource limitations, lack of interpreting and translation services, and practical barriers such as transport and hours of appointments. The findings are discussed in relation to mental health service delivery and mental health promotion.

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Citation

Franks, W., Gawn, N. and Bowden, G. (2007), "Barriers to access to mental health services for migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 33-41. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465729200700006

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited