Jake welcomes Carmen English, she is a immigration attorney in Reno Nevada. They discuss in depth how the process of immigration can affect an individual’s mental health.
Stress is a major factor for all and it is usually job-related, but for immigrants, stress can be different. The human mind is same, no matter where one comes from. The stress of trying to find one’s footing in a new environment, the lack of social and family support, financial stress; different child rearing patterns due to cultural differences; cultural conflicts, along with silent racism and discrimination, can all contribute to poor self-esteem, lack of confidence and depression.
The mass migration that’s characterized the young, chaotic 21st century to date is captured in numbers befitting its imposing scale. It is estimated that 244 million people (3.3% of the world’s population) live outside their country of origin, of whom 65 million were forcibly displaced as a result of ongoing conflict and persecution an all-time high for that figure.
The migration trajectory can be divided into three components: pre-migration, migration and post migration resettlement. Each phase is associated with specific risks and exposures. The prevalence of specific types of mental health problems is influenced by the nature of the migration experience, in terms of adversity experienced before, during and after resettlement. Specific challenges in migrant mental health include communication difficulties because of language and cultural differences; the effect of cultural shaping of symptoms and illness behavior on diagnosis, coping and treatment; differences in family structure and process affecting adaptation, acculturation and intergenerational conflict; and aspects of acceptance by the receiving society that affect employment, social status and integration. These issues can be addressed through specific inquiry, the use of trained interpreters and culture brokers, meetings with families, and consultation with community organizations.
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