Asylum seekers and refugees experience psychological distress at various phases, such as during pre-migration, migration and post-migration. In the post-migration phase, the period of asylum process has many risk factors for severe mental health implications.
The aim of this study was to identify research evidence that suggest asylum process as a cause of psychological distress among the forced migrants in the United Kingdom (UK).
The study was carried out by searching the NHS database for the relevant information and interviewing asylum seekers and refugees.
The literature search identified several relevant studies in this area. However, only one study was found as the most relevant for my study focus. The study was ‘Psychological distress and the asylum process: a longitudinal study of forced migrants in Ireland’ by Ryan et al. The qualitative data gathered from the interviews of forced migrants showed a strong link between the asylum process and mental distress.
This research strongly suggests that the asylum process does contain many risk factors causing psychological distress among the asylum seekers. In particular, the restrictions from freedom to work or study, and the constant fear of deportation are the key stressors identified. Increasing the mental health awareness of all personal who come into contact with forced migrants could prevent severe psychological consequences. These points should be taken into consideration for improving the asylum policy and training medical and non-medical staff who may encounter forced migrants.