What is the effect of a long term asylum application process on the mental health of asylum seekers entering the EU?

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What is the effect of a long term asylum application process on the mental health of asylum seekers entering the EU?

Background:
The prevalence of asylum seekers is on the up. Different political climates across the world are resulting in more people than ever before finding themselves in destitution and persecution. The increasing number of refugees is coupled with a hugely diverse range of cultural differences and adverse life events. In 2009 alone over 24,000 people sought refuge on British soil; an indication of how serious this issue is.
Objective:
To investigate how a long and complex application process for asylum seekers, as well as discriminatory legislation concerning post-migratory care, can have an impact upon the mental health of those entering the country.

Method:
Using online searching tools, like NHS evidence, MetaLib and PubMed , I searched many scientific databases for studies conducted on asylum seekers, in a western country. The articles had to report on the effect of a long asylum application process using mental health as the primary outcome. I also did manual searching of Journal literature in two medical libraries.
Results:
My search strategy found 4 articles with some relevance to my topic. Two focused mainly on the more obvious post migratory risk factors. Two addressed my question specifically. They found that a long a stressful asylum process was a strong risk factor for developing post-migratory psychopathology.
Conclusion:
The small number of relevant hits found by my literature searches is a clear indication that much more research is needed in this field in order to attain applicable data with which to base reforms. The implications behind these results are that the current legislation designed to make the application for asylum into the country is flawed and in desperate need of reform.



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