This research backs common sense and may be of use for those advocating for people from Culturallyand Linguistically Diverse backgrounds.
Please note there is a growing understanding/acceptance that mental health issues are part of the overall category of “disability” yet many advocacy groups ( edac.org.au excepted ) still shy away from mental health as a human condition worthy of advocacy or interest.
The stigma of mental health problems remains overwhelming – more on this and comments welcome in future posts.
here’s the reuters piece…
By Michael Kahn
LONDON (Reuters) – Immigrants to Britain are more likely to suffer serious mental health problems than the native population, but strong family and community ties may help to protect them, researchers said on Monday.
Previous studies have shown a higher risk of psychoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder among immigrants facing discrimination and alienation, but the new findings pointed to surprising variations among different ethnic communities.
Social factors rather than genetics may explain the differences, said Jeremy Coid, a researcher at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London who led the study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry .
“Maybe instead of thinking about risk we need to think about what is protective,” Coid said in a telephone interview. “There may be some kind of protection from living in a close community.”
Coid and his colleagues studied 484 immigrants aged 18 to 64 living in three inner-city neighbourhoods of East London, an area that has historically been a first stop for new arrivals. All developed a mental disorder between 1996 and 2000.
The ethnic subgroups included white from countries including Ireland and continental Europe, black Caribbean, black African, Asian from the Indian subcontinent, and all other groups including Chinese, other Asians and those of mixed ethnicity.
The researchers found an overall elevated risk for immigrants and more specifically that some groups seemed less affected by the hardships new arrivals often face.
Immigrants from the Indian sub-continent were only 1.3 times more likely to develop psychosis compared to the native population, suggesting that community ties and family bonds may offer protection against discrimination based on things like skin colour, the researchers said.
White immigrants to Britain were two times more likely to develop psychosis, while black Caribbean new arrivals were four times more likely to suffer in this way.
(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Maggie Fox and Keith Weir)