Barriers to Accessing Mental Health in Southampton's Displaced Communities

Project Details

Academic description

More than 110 million individuals have been forcibly displaced worldwide due to false persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations (UNHCR, n.d.).

Displaced communities have experienced traumatic events such as bear witness or experience the death of loved ones, physical harm, and a violent and terrifying situation before fleeing their country of origin. Due to potentially traumatic experiences pre-displacement, displacement, and post-displacement, as well as other factors such as acculturative stress in a host country, displaced communities are classified as high risk for experiencing mental health symptoms and disorders. Despite displaced communities’ experiences with traumatic events, accessing mental health support services can be extremely challenging as often, displaced communities experience barriers such as stigma, low access to or quality of services, low cultural competence and awareness of practitioners, or a lack of knowledge about how services work and how they can be helpful. Consequently, displaced communities’ experiences with mental health symptoms and disorders are often underdiagnosed and left untreated.

In the absence of such evidence, policymakers, mental health programme managers and mental health professionals may lack the ability to improve access and utilisation of mental health services for displaced communities.

This study will aim at exploring displaced communities’ perceptions of mental health and understand the barriers to mental health help-seeking and support services in Southampton-based displaced communities as Southampton is one of the main cities to host displaced communities across the south coast. The findings from this study would additionally pave the way for future community focused collaboration with social movement organisation, NGOs, and Southampton city council members. 

Effective start/end date11/04/2431/07/25


  • Solent University


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