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The mental health needs of immigrant workers in Gulf countries

  • Muhammad Ajmal Zahid (a1) and Mohammad Alsuwaidan (a2)

Abstract

The oil-rich member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) attract large numbers of migrant workers. The reported rates of psychiatric morbidity among these migrant workers are higher than among nationals, while the mental health services in the GCC countries remain inadequate in terms of both staff and service delivery. The multi-ethnic origin of migrants poses considerable challenges in this respect. The development of mental illness in migrants, especially when many of them remain untreated or inadequately treated, results in their premature repatriation, and the mentally ill migrant ends up facing the same economic hardships which led to migration in the first place. The availability of trained interpreters and transcultural psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers should make psychiatric diagnoses more accurate. Suitable rehabilitation services are also needed.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits noncommercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

References

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Al-Maskari, F., Shah, S. M., Al-Sharhan, R., et al (2011) Prevalence of depression and suicidal behaviors among male migrant workers in United Arab Emirates. Journal of Immigrant Minority Health, 13, 10271032.
Saraga, M., Gholam-Rezaee, M. & Preisig, M. (2013) Symptoms, comorbidity, and clinical course of depression in immigrants: putting psychopathology in context. Journal of Affective Disorders, 151, 795799.
Watters, C. (2002) Migration and mental health care in Europe: report of a preliminary mapping exercise. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 28, 102107.
World Health Organization (2011) Mental Health Atlas. WHO.
Zahid, M. A., Fido, A. A., Alowaish, R., et al (2002) Psychiatric morbidity among housemaids in Kuwait: the precipitating factors. Annals of Saudi Medicine, 22, 384387.
Zahid, M. A., Fido, A. A., Alowaish, R., et al (2003) Psychiatric morbidity among housemaids in Kuwait: III. Vulnerability factors. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 49, 8796.
Zahid, M. A., Fido, A. A., Razik, M. A., et al (2004) Psychiatric morbidity among housemaids in Kuwait: a. Prevalence of psychiatric disorders in the hospitalized group of housemaids. Medical Principles and Practice, 13, 249254.

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The mental health needs of immigrant workers in Gulf countries

  • Muhammad Ajmal Zahid (a1) and Mohammad Alsuwaidan (a2)
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