Migrant and Refugee Mental Health

Barbara Robles-Ramamurthy, Carissa Cabán-Alemán, Maria Rodriguez, Xinlin Chen, Eugenio M. Rothe, Lisa R. Fortuna

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Migration is a natural global phenomenon, yet the process can be stressful for many and may result in significant challenges to one’s mental health and well-being. Individuals and families who are forcibly displaced, seeking asylum, or undergoing refugee resettlement are particularly vulnerable groups in this population. This chapter begins with defining the various legal and social designations used for groups of migrant and refugee populations, as these legal and social definitions affect quality of life and mental health. Important sociocultural factors that influence mental health needs in immigrant and refugee populations are described along with a brief overview and examples of culturally tailored evidence-based treatments that have been found to be beneficial. The chapter concludes with an emphasis on the need for including affirmative and culturally responsive practices in clinical training and the importance of understanding and preventing vicarious trauma. Through the use of best practices, clinicians can optimize the clinical care of migrants and refugees while also maintaining their own wellness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTextbook of Community Psychiatry
Subtitle of host publicationAmerican Association for Community Psychiatry, Second Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783031102394
ISBN (Print)9783031102387
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Advocacy
  • Affirmative care
  • Asylum
  • Children
  • Community mental health
  • Cultural humility
  • Cultural identity
  • Evidence-based therapy
  • Human rights
  • Immigrant
  • Immigration
  • Migrants
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Refugee
  • Structural competence
  • Trauma
  • Vicarious trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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