Special Issue "Mental Health Promotion for Refugees and Other Culturally and/or Linguistically Diverse Migrant Populations"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Shameran Slewa-Younan
E-Mail Website
Chief Guest Editor
School of Medicine and Translational Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Interests: mental health literacy of refugee and other culturally and/or linguistically diverse (cald) groups; mental health stigma
Dr. Greg Armstrong
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Nossal Institute for Global Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Melbourne University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Interests: population mental health; self-harm and suicide prevention; low and middle-income countries; migrant and refugee groups

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleauges,

Mental health promotion is a wide-ranging concept influenced by cultural, socioeconomic, and political factors. Nonetheless, the goal of mental health promotion is to positively influence the determinants of mental health by undertaking effective multilevel interventions across numerous sectors, settings, and environments. Within populations such as refugee groups, exposure to pre-migratory traumatic events combined with stressors during their travel and following migration and resettlement can lead to a higher risk of the development of psychological distress and mental ill health. As such, mental health promotion efforts are needed to ensure that systems are in place to support refugees to maintain good mental health, to enhance understanding and engagement with mental healthcare where it is needed, and to provide mental health services that are effective for such heterogeneous populations.

This Special Issue of IJERPH seeks to invite researchers in mental health, public health, and policy and social sciences to submit high-quality research that focuses on improving our understanding of how to promote mental health and best care practices for refugees and other culturally and/or linguistically diverse migrant populations.

Dr. Shameran Slewa-Younan
Dr. Greg Armstrong
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Mental health promotion
  • Refugees
  • Culturally and/or linguistically diverse groups

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Mental Illness Stigma and Associated Factors among Arabic-Speaking Religious and Community Leaders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7991; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157991 - 28 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Evidence suggests that Arabic-speaking refugees in Australia seek help from informal sources, including religious and community leaders, when experiencing mental health issues. Despite their significant influence, there is scarce research exploring attitudes of Arabic-speaking leaders toward mental illness. The current exploratory study explored [...] Read more.
Evidence suggests that Arabic-speaking refugees in Australia seek help from informal sources, including religious and community leaders, when experiencing mental health issues. Despite their significant influence, there is scarce research exploring attitudes of Arabic-speaking leaders toward mental illness. The current exploratory study explored mental illness stigma and various factors among Arabic-speaking religious and community leaders. This study uses a subset of data from an evaluation trial of mental health literacy training for Arabic-speaking religious and community leaders. Our dataset contains the pre-intervention survey responses for 52 Arabic-speaking leaders (69.2% female; mean age = 47.1, SD = 15.3) on the ability to recognise a mental disorder, beliefs about causes for developing mental illness, and two stigma measures, personal stigma, and social distance. Being female was associated with a decrease in personal stigma. An increase in age was associated with an increase in personal stigma. Correct recognition of a mental disorder was associated with decreased personal stigma, and after adjusting for age and gender, significance was retained for the I-would-not-tell-anyone subscale. Endorsing the cause “being a person of weak character” was associated with an increase in personal stigma. There is an urgent need for future research to elucidate stigma to develop effective educational initiatives for stigma reduction among Arabic-speaking leaders. Full article

Review

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Review
Refugee Women with a History of Trauma: Gender Vulnerability in Relation to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4806; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094806 - 30 Apr 2021
Viewed by 657
Abstract
Refugees represent a population whose living conditions have a strong impact on their mental health. High rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), more than other mental disorders, have been found in this group, with women having the highest incidence. The objective of the [...] Read more.
Refugees represent a population whose living conditions have a strong impact on their mental health. High rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), more than other mental disorders, have been found in this group, with women having the highest incidence. The objective of the present systematic review was to identify and examine studies from the last fifteen years on the relationship between the impact of traumatic experiences and PTSD psychopathology in refugee women. Twelve studies were included, from which the overall results approved this relation. In addition, six of these studies show that exposure to sexual trauma in refugee women is associated with the high odds of being at risk for PTSD. These findings suggest that gender-related traumatic experiences can explain the high rate of PTSD in refugee women and highlight the unmet need for psychosocial health care in this population. Full article
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Brief Report
Screening for Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Young Refugees: Comparison of Questionnaire Data with and without Involvement of an Interpreter
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6803; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136803 - 24 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Background: The substantial number of young refugees who have arrived in Europe since 2015 requires rapid screening to identify those in need of treatment. However, translated versions of screening measures are not always available, necessitating the support of interpreters. The Child and [...] Read more.
Background: The substantial number of young refugees who have arrived in Europe since 2015 requires rapid screening to identify those in need of treatment. However, translated versions of screening measures are not always available, necessitating the support of interpreters. The Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen (CATS) is a validated questionnaire for posttraumatic stress symptoms. Here, we report on the psychometric properties of the CATS in a sample of young refugees as a function of interpreter involvement. Methods: A total of N = 145 (Mage = 16.8, SD = 1.54; 93% male) were assessed with the CATS, with half of the screenings conducted with and half without interpreters. Post hoc analyses included calculating internal consistency using Cronbach’s α. We used confirmative factor analysis to investigate the factor structure. Results: The CATS total scale showed good reliability (α = 0.84). Differences in psychometric properties between the interpreter vs. the no interpreter group were minor and tended to be in favor of the interpreter group. Results of a confirmatory factor analysis were acceptable after the exclusion of items with low item-scale correlations. Conclusions: The sample and the administration of the assessment represent the situation of young refugees in Germany, where resources are low and translated versions not always available. The CATS may be a helpful screening tool for clinicians working with young refugees, even when administered with an interpreter. Limitations include the post hoc design of the analysis without randomization of participants and the lack of a third comparison group using translated questionnaire versions. Full article
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