Immigrant and refugee health: mental health conditions

Karl T Rew, S Lindsey Clarke, Weyinshet Gossa, Daniel Savin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Immigrants leave their homes for unfamiliar destinations in search of better lives for themselves and their families. Many immigrants experience profound loss and emotional distress as they adjust to life in different societies. Despite these challenges, the prevalence of mental health conditions among immigrants is low, whereas children of immigrants have rates equal to those of native populations. The prevalence of mental health conditions is high among refugees, who comprise a specific subgroup of immigrants who have been displaced forcibly and often have experienced severe trauma. Cultural factors, such as stigma and somatization of emotional symptoms, make it less likely that immigrants and refugees from certain groups will ever present to mental health subspecialists. Strong therapeutic relationships, cultural sensitivity, involvement of family members, judicious use of medications, and knowledge of available community resources are important tools that can aid clinicians who treat immigrants and refugees with mental health conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-23
Number of pages5
JournalFP essentials
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Age Factors
  • Cultural Competency
  • Culture
  • Emigrants and Immigrants/psychology
  • Family
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening/organization & administration
  • Mental Health
  • Prevalence
  • Refugees/psychology
  • Resilience, Psychological
  • Sex Factors
  • United States/epidemiology


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