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Mental health interventions in Canada for migrants affected by state‐sanctioned violence: an effectiveness study

Athena Madan (Based in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1757-0980

Article publication date: 15 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the effectiveness of mental health interventions for migrants affected by extreme political violence.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a literature review and synthesis of post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) interventions for Canadian‐landed migrants who have been affected by state‐sanctioned violence.

Findings

Conceptualisations of trauma in current mental health systems may not be appropriate for this group. Psychosocial processes of migration, settlement, and belonging may compound original traumas. Effective interventions highlight community partnership, social support, with emphasis on citizenship and reciprocity.

Research limitations/implications

Much of the literature reported limited or unspecified treatment outcomes.

Social implications

Broader social support is needed when treating people affected by state‐sanctioned violence. Greater attention to social and political forces in mental health education and models of healthcare may be beneficial.

Originality/value

This is the first review in Canada of intervention effectiveness for survivors of extreme political violence. It highlights practises relevant to a population whose ideas and responses about trauma treatment are not yet completely known. This study contributes to greater understanding about the impact of state‐sanctioned violence on mental health, and identifies approaches by which traumatic stress for migrants may be treated.

Keywords

Citation

Madan, A. (2011), "Mental health interventions in Canada for migrants affected by state‐sanctioned violence: an effectiveness study", Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 112-126. https://doi.org/10.1108/17570981111249257

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited