Do you know what challenges migrants face in accessing mental health services, and how Member States address them? The new EMN inform maps policies in place to help legally-residing migrants access mental health services.
The inform Mapping of mental health policies for third-country national migrants maps the policies in place in the EU Member States to provide support to legally residing migrants and ensure their access to mental health services. It focuses on the challenges that migrants face in accessing these services and the practices developed by Member States to address these challenges.
In most Member States, legally residing migrants have the same access to mental health services as national and resident EU citizens. However, access to services often presents several challenges for both migrants and Member States. For migrants, these range from practical issues such as language barriers, lack of information, high costs, and long waiting lists, to lack of awareness, taboo, and socioeconomic disadvantages. From the Member States’ perspective, challenges include language and cultural differences between migrants and services providers, lack of financial and human resources or specific expertise accustomed to the migrants’ needs.
The main service providers in the area of mental health are national, regional and local authorities, followed by NGOs and the private sector.
The inform indicates that migrants, particularly those who were forced to flee their country of origin, may be at higher risk of developing mental health conditions. Further challenges affect specific groups of migrants including women, children, victims of gender-based violence and victims of trauma.
To address the identified challenges, 21 Member States, including Slovakia, provided examples of measures that improved access to mental healthcare for migrants. Among the examples, they stated creating better conditions to access the services or reducing communication barriers.