Did you know that?
Studies on mental health in migrants indicate that about 38% of people living in another country manifest more emotional and mental problems compared to the native population of the hosting country.
The main symptoms are depression, anxiety and loneliness. Which makes a lot of sense, after all, moving to another country brings many challenges and a lot of pain. Even when the person chose to migrate.
A report published by the World Health Organization (2018) describes that the incidence of mental disorders in migrants is very high, ranging from 5% to 44%.
Similar numbers were identified in other more recent studies, in an analysis of 27 studies involving more than 44,000 migrants in 17 different countries in which the presence of depression and anxiety was approximately 38.99% of the observed population.
Several factors can contribute to this, such as common stressors of the migration process, including long-term adaptation, difficulties in another country, poor living conditions, language barriers, confidentiality and privacy concerns, stigma of migrant status, reluctance to seek help, psychological distress, being far from family and friends, and social deprivation. Migrants have higher rates of mental disorders than native populations.
Another aspect identified is that migrants who have lived in a country for more than 5 years are more likely to present or develop symptoms of depression and loneliness, than those who migrated for less than 5 years.
I am living in Ireland for almost 7 years, and have already gone through very intense process of adaptation and acculturation, aside other aspects of my personal journey in self-awareness that only migration has brought to light.
To deal with all of this, I sought help. Remember that you don’t have to live this alone!
Migrating is an intense move, and it doesn’t have to be more painful than it already is. Seek help! Even if you “don’t feel anything”, by seeking support you can prevent these symptoms.
If you’re in Ireland and you feel you are at immediate risk of harming yourself or someone else, please contact emergency services on 999 or 112 right away. For other support services please see the below:
- “Far From Home in Ireland” – Longe de Casa na Irlanda. A community of Brazilians in Ireland to support each other in the challenging journey of being a migrant. WhatsApp 089 9425242 www.wa.me/+353899425242, email email@example.com, Instagram @longedecasa.ie (www.instagram.com/longedecasa.ie).
- MyMind. Provides one to one counselling and psychotherapy, face to face or online with reduced fees for students and low-income individuals, with Portuguese speaker therapists available. https://mymind.org/individual.
- Free-text HELP to 50808 nationwide. From breakups or bullying, to anxiety, depression, self-harming and suicidal thoughts, their Crisis Volunteers are available 24/7 for anonymous text conversations. www.text50808.ie.
- Samaritans free call on 116123. Provides confidential non-judgmental support, 24 hours a day for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. www.samaritans.org/ireland/samaritans-ireland.
Share this post with a migrant you know, they may need help!
Student in Psychology and migrant in Ireland, a Crisis Support Volunteer, and advocate of mental and emotional health for migrants.
If you’re Brazilian living in Ireland, please help me with my research project responding to my survey that aims to investigate how social support, adaptation to stress, loneliness and perception of self-efficacy and coping skills can influence the experience of Brazilians in Ireland. Link to participate and more information: https://forms.gle/t6dyVE13Aw1zhSWQ7