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Article

Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Mental Health Care of Asylum Seekers

1
Clinical Psychology Graduate Program, Ruppin Academic Center, Emek-Hefer 4015000, Israel
2
School of Social Work and Social Welfare, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
3
Beer Ya’akov-Nez Tziona Mental Health Center, Beer Yaakov 70350, Israel
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Department of Psychiatry, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6812509, Israel
5
Shalvata Mental Health Center, Hod Hasharon 69978, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10661; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010661
Received: 16 August 2021 / Revised: 4 October 2021 / Accepted: 6 October 2021 / Published: 12 October 2021
Asylum seekers in Israel from East Africa frequently experienced traumatic events along their journey, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula, where they were subjected to trafficking and torture. Exposure to trauma has implications for rights that are contingent on refugee status. This retrospective chart review aimed to characterize the types of traumas experienced by 219 asylum seekers (149 men) from Eritrea and Sudan who sought treatment at a specialized mental health clinic in Israel, and to compare the mental health of trauma victims (n = 168) with that of non-trauma victims (n = 53). About 76.7% of the asylum seekers had experienced at least one traumatic event, of whom 56.5% were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most reported traumas were experienced en route in the Sinai, rather than in the country of origin or Israel. Few clinical differences were observed between trauma victims and non-trauma victims, or between trauma victims with and without a PTSD diagnosis. Our findings emphasize the importance of accessibility to mental and other health services for asylum seekers. Governmental policies and international conventions on the definition of human trafficking may need to be revised, as well as asylum seekers’ rights and access to health services related to visa status. View Full-Text
Keywords: asylum seekers; Eritrea; Sudan; PTSD; trauma; mental health care asylum seekers; Eritrea; Sudan; PTSD; trauma; mental health care
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MDPI and ACS Style

Youngmann, R.; Bachner-Melman, R.; Lev-Ari, L.; Tzur, H.; Hileli, R.; Lurie, I. Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Mental Health Care of Asylum Seekers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 10661. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010661

AMA Style

Youngmann R, Bachner-Melman R, Lev-Ari L, Tzur H, Hileli R, Lurie I. Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Mental Health Care of Asylum Seekers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(20):10661. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010661

Chicago/Turabian Style

Youngmann, Rafael, Rachel Bachner-Melman, Lilac Lev-Ari, Hadar Tzur, Ravit Hileli, and Ido Lurie. 2021. "Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Mental Health Care of Asylum Seekers" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 20: 10661. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010661

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