MSF report on asylum seekers in Italy: an investigation on mental problems and access to territorial health services 6.8.16


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Extract from the introduction:

"Scientific evidence over the last few years has shown an increased risk of mental disturbances among forced migrants and asylum seekers. Apart from the traumatic events which migrants may have undergone just before and during their migration journey, some of them show evidence of stress and suffering linked to their current condition, due to an exile in a land they don't know."

The report is based on research conducted from July 2015 to February 2016 in Centri di Accoglienza Straordinaria [CAS, Extraordinary Reception Centres] for refugees in Milan, Trapani and Rome using quantitative and qualitative methodologies including focus groups and in-depth interviews with migrants, health workers and CAS staff to understand their healthcare needs.


Among the 387 patients who were the subjects of this research, 234 (60.5%) had mental health problems including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, often linking this suffering to their current conditions for reasons including uncertainty over their future, solitude and fears for the relatives thye left behind. Work on the reception system showed that it welcomed people in particularly difficult conditions on the basis of emergency measures, without adequate planning, while local health services often lack adequate competence and resources. Lengthy stays in the centres often worsen these problems." 


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