Access to Virtual Mental Healthcare and Support for Refugee and Immigrant Groups: A Scoping Review

This resource is research related to newcomer mental health, and was published in 2023 by Michaela Hynie, Anna Oda, Michael Calaresu, Ben C. H. Kuo, Nicole Ives, Annie Jaimes, Nimo Bokore, Carolyn Beukeboom, Farah Ahmad, Neil Arya, Rachel Samuel, Safwath Farooqui, Jenna-Louise Palmer-Dyer & Kwame McKenzie. Click here to access this research paper. A brief excerpt from the research is included below.

While access to mental health services was a well-documented challenge for refugee and immigrant populations before COVID-19 in countries around the world, the pandemic involved multiple changes, most notably the restriction of in-person services, that reconfigured obstacles and possibilities of care. Refugees and asylum seekers report higher rates of PTSD and common mental health disorders relative to the general population, and among those living with mental health problems mental health service use is lower in migrant than non-migrant populations. Immigrants and refugees’ underutilization of mental health services has been attributed to the wide range of barriers they encounter when accessing mental health services. At the individual level, they can face communication difficulties, lack of trust, confidentiality concerns, feelings of shame, linguistic barriers and limits in mental health literacy and knowledge of accessible services. Provider-level barriers can include a lack of cultural competence and a lack of available providers. At the level of the intervention there can be challenges in the equity in the efficacy of interventions across groups. 

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