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Friday, 8 September 2023

Refugee mental healthA new report from the Research for Health in Conflict Group led by academics from the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge and colleagues from King’s College London and the American University of Beirut presents stark insights into the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, especially their mental health.

Lead investigator Professor Simon Deakin stated that "the report provides a hard reflection on the sobering reality of the mental health of migrants and refugees in the UK. There is a crisis of compassion that requires urgent public policy intervention."

The report, based on insights and field experience from frontline staff and representatives from the NHS, United Nations and on-the-ground International Non-Governmental Organisations, shows how the ongoing asylum crisis has exposed the fragility of frontline mental health and public services as well as the double standards which have been applied in the treatment of displaced people from the Ukraine and those from the Middle East.

There is a crisis of compassion that requires urgent public policy intervention. Professor Simon Deakin

Refugees traumatised after being in conflict zones, the journey across Europe and the protracted asylum process struggle to find support for their mental health needs. The ‘left behind’ local populations in deprived areas of England fare no better, facing lengthy waiting times for access to local mental health services. The perception that locals and asylum seekers will compete for the same services albeit to the detriment of local populations is fuelled by polemical political statements that generate feelings of them and us. However, the evidence for this does not exist.

Professor Deakin also featured on Channel 4 News on 7 September to discuss the far reaching effects on refugees’ mental health due to complicated asylum system.

For much more detail about the report, please refer to the Centre for Business Research website.