About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Detention, Uncertainty take their Toll on the Mental Health of Refugees

by VR Sreeraman on October 2, 2006 at 1:50 AM
Font : A-A+

Detention, Uncertainty take their Toll on the Mental Health of Refugees

Refugees residing on temporary protection visas (TPVs) are more likely to suffer severe, persistent and wide-ranging mental health problems than those with permanent protection visas (PPVs) , specialist trauma psychologists and psychiatrists have revealed.

Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression are much more severe for TPV holders than for PPV holders, mental health professionals from the Sydney-based Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors and the University of NSW School of Psychiatry revealed in the latest issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.

Advertisement

In the first study of its kind in Australia, researchers interviewed TPV and PPV holders from similar cultural and language backgrounds who had experienced similar trauma and persecution before seeking refuge.

They found the TPV holders studied had experienced the added stress of being held in immigration detention centres, of having very few of the entitlements of Australian citizens, and of facing an uncertain future.
Advertisement

The cumulative effect meant TPV holders were much more susceptible to mental health problems, said lead author Zachary Steel, a Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at UNSW.

"TPV holders exceeded PPV holders on all measures of psychiatric disturbance and mental disability," Mr Steel said.

"(Their) TPV status made a substantial contribution, being by far the greatest predictor of PTSD symptoms.

"Adverse prior detention experiences and current living difficulties associated with TPV status each made substantial and independent contributions to PTSD symptoms.

"Our study provides consistent evidence that the migration trajectory experienced by TPV holders, particularly adversity in detention and ongoing living difficulties, is accompanied by persisting and wide-ranging mental health problems and associated disability."

All TPV holders had been in immigration detention centres in Australia and reported their experience of detention had caused serious to very serious stress.

More than 90 per cent reported serious stress in detention associated with being interviewed by immigration officers, not receiving adequate medical treatment, exposure to acts of violence and brutality and seeing people attempt suicide.

Significant numbers said stress was also caused by alleged assaults by officers, being handcuffed during transport, being woken during the night for head counts, being forced to use unhygienic toilets and being placed in solitary confinement.

The proportion of TPV holders experiencing living difficulties since release from detention exceeded that of PPV holders for all items assessed. Over 90 per cent of TPV holders experienced anxiety about possible repatriation.

"Since our research was completed, Australia has revised its immigration policies, substantially limiting mandatory detention and allowing for external review of the grounds for detention after two years," Mr Steel said.

"TPV holders have been allowed to apply for permanent residency under alternative immigration streams.

"Several factors undoubtedly shaped these changes, but concerns about the mental health of detainees proved to be a decisive feature of the debate.

"Nevertheless, the extent to which these reforms address the negative consequences of prolonged detention, insecure residency and harsh visa conditions remains to be demonstrated.

"Health professions must continue to monitor the interplay of policy and mental health outcomes in this and other vulnerable groups."

Source: Medindia
SRM
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Western Diet may Augment the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases
Black Tea Protects against Blood Pressure and Heart Diseases
Green Mediterranean Diet may Help Repair Age-Related Brain Damages
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Anxiety Disorder Reiki-A Holistic Healing Method Flowers And What They Mean To Us Health Insurance - India Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Mental Health - Neurosis vs Psychosis Understanding the Role of Love in Mental Health Effect of Romantic Movies on a Child's Mental Health Emotional Healing Spirituality and Mental Health 

Recommended Reading
Know Your Nervous System
The Central nervous system consists of the brain, the spinal cord, and the body's nerve network. ......
Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorder involves excessive worry about actual circumstances, events or conflicts. Anyone ca...
Effect of Romantic Movies on a Child's Mental Health
Romantic movies can affect a child''s mental health both positively and negatively and therefore, cr...
Emotional Healing
Emotional healing is the ability to take proper control of painful thoughts, feelings and emotions. ...
Flowers And What They Mean To Us
Flowers can be used as infusion for treating digestive disorders or they can be used as poultice for...
Health Insurance - India
Health insurance has emerged as one of the fastest growing segments in the non-life insurance indust...
Mental Health - Neurosis vs Psychosis
Mental well-being is a concern and abnormal coping of emotions can lead to neurosis or psychosis. Me...
Spirituality and Mental Health
Spiritual health refers to the relationship with the divine reality many of us recognize as God. We ...
Understanding the Role of Love in Mental Health
Love plays a crucial role in our mental health. Love that comes from a friend, a partner, a sibling,...
Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a psychological measure of human intelligence. Regular physical and me...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)