Mental health of refugees and migrants: risk and protective factors and access to care

This is the fifth report of the Global Evidence Review on Health and Migration (GEHM) series. The publication focuses on the mental health needs of refugees and migrants by providing an overview of the available evidence on patterns of risk and protective factors and of facilitators and barriers to care at all levels (individual, family, community and national government). It identifies five high-level themes, each of which has implications for research and policy and is relevant across refugee and migrant groups, contexts and stages of the migration process: self-identity and community support; basic needs and security; cultural concepts of mental health as well as stigma; exposure to adversity and potentially traumatic events; navigating mental health and other systems and services.

Based on these five themes, policy considerations are put forward to serve as a starting point for recognizing and responding to the needs of refugee and migrant groups.

Ensuring that those at risk of mental health conditions are identified and adequately supported, while understanding the factors that facilitate access to mental health services is essential for effective policy and programming.

Resource type:

Research summaries/systematic reviews, Reports,





Key words:

Gender-based violence, Psychological first aid, Task shifting, Mental health access, Post-conflict trauma, Humanitarian settings, Maternal mental health




Humanitarian and conflict-afflicted