About this Research Topic
Immigrants often face serious disparities in accessing mental health care. Common barriers include language difficulties, lack of health insurance, lack of awareness about free mental health services, residential mobility, competing logistic demands of work and childcare, cultural norms that discourage discussing mental health or seeking professional help, and mistrust in health care professionals and government services. Among immigrants that do receive care, it is more likely to be lower quality of care, with worse outcomes. There are evidence-based practices of relatively low-cost that improve quality of care and health outcomes, such as bilingual providers, medical interpreters, community health workers, peer support services for mental health and substance use disorders, and integrated behavioral health services within primary care. Yet many of these practices are not available in behavioral health settings, and not billable by public insurance companies.
Improving mental health outcomes for immigrant populations requires listening to voices from immigrant communities, and collaboration among community organizations, health professionals, social scientists, and policy makers. Research in this collection examines: 1. Current trends and risk factors for mental health challenges among immigrants, 2. Culturally appropriate interventions and treatment, and 3. Efforts to reduce disparities in access and quality of care, and 4. Prevention initiatives for strengthening community resilience and well-being.
Articles in this collection explore topics such as: the interplay between parental mental health, childhood physical health, and cultural stress; the impact of neighborhood context on socio-emotional outcomes in immigrant youth; psychometrics of screening scales for comorbid mental illness and substance use disorders in multi-lingual populations; and development and adaptation of interventions to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms among older adult immigrants delivered by community health workers.
This Research Topic welcomes contributions from the fields of psychiatry, medicine, social science, public policy, law, and other disciplines that explore mental health and immigration, with a focus on reducing mental health outcome disparities.
Image credit: Youth with poster – Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/71881249@N05/7053725307 by ckoettl is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Flag Background – Canva graphics.
Keywords: refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, immigrants, mental health, substance use, trauma
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.