Promoting integrated mental health care services and supports for refugees in BC

Approximately 84 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced during 2021, including refugees, who have been forcibly displaced by conflict. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people in settings affected by conflict have a mental disorder. Evidence shows that many refugees require mental health support post migration as a result of trauma, and post migration stress. Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and psychosis are much more prevalent among refugees than among host populations. Post migration, refugee mental health is determined by stressors of acculturation such as employment, housing and access to health care.

Limited knowledge exists on how mental health services work to promote refugee mental health in high income countries like Canada. Barriers to mental health care include service fragmentation and provider knowledge about the determinants of refugee mental health. The goal of my research is to develop and conduct an evaluation of existing mental health services and supports for refugees in BC. Findings will inform primary health care services, mental health services and settlement services about what promotes integrated mental health care for refugees in BC.