Representation of mental health and mental illness among immigrants and refugees in Europe by R. Benegadi and A. Bensaad (notice bibliographique)

In Migrations Santé France (Paris). Centre F. Minkowska (Paris)

Immigration is an event in which the pressure on the structure of a personality is often very intense. Our point of departure is two-fold, first a long clinical experience of immigrants in France, and secondly a bibliographical study throughout Europe. The authores have defined a precise system of references (psycho-anthropological and psycho-pathological) in terms of the gratification or marginalisation that cultural adaptation affords.

The cases related are examples of different phases in migrant movements of the principal ethnic groups (North-africans, Asians, Turks, Africans) present in France and in other European countries (Netherlands, West Germany, United Kindgom, Belgium).

The authors refer both to migrants and refugees. The legal aspects of certain psychopathological problems are also considered at the European level.

The authors argue that imigration is an interactive process which questions society about it’s own “public health”. The health of migrants and refugees is a litrus test ; the promotion of mental health and prevention of mental illness are the object of this test. The authors insist on the distinct nature of those two elements and make some proposal for the future.

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