• "I feel like I am less than other people": Health-related vulnerabilities of male migrants travelling alone on their journey to Europe

      Arsenijević, J; Burtscher, D; Ponthieu, A; Severy, N; Contenta, A; Moissaing, S; Argenziano, S; Zamatto, F; Zachariah, R; Ali, E; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-05-23)
      During 2015 and 2016, an unprecedented flow of approximately 800,000 migrants coming from Turkey towards Western Europe crossed the Balkans. Male migrants are perceived as being less vulnerable compared to other migrants and they are not given priority in service and support provision. This qualitative study examines the self-perceived vulnerabilities of male migrants travelling alone along the Balkan route to Europe. Twenty-four individual in-depth interviews, two group interviews and participant observation were conducted with male migrants in Belgrade, Serbia in 2017. Data was coded manually, and analysed thematically. Male migrants traveling alone face the cumulative vulnerability of various traumatic events and migration-related contextual circumstances. Three main themes emerged: the ongoing desperate journey, the better treatment of 'traditionally' well recognised vulnerable sub-groups and the impact of the continuous stress on mental health. Deterrence measures imposed for border control purposes in the form of push-backs, expulsions, detention and degrading, inhumane treatment amplify the psychological distress of male migrants. Feelings of hopelessness, desperation, lack of self-value and self-esteem were reported. 'Traditionally vulnerable' populations were said to have had better treatment throughout the journey from smugglers, border state authorities, governmental officials, civil society and international organizations. The devastating experiences of male migrants, as well as the better treatment offered to other groups of migrants like women and children, results in a perceived neglect of the needs of men in humanitarian response, rendering them vulnerable and exposing them to further health and protection risks. In a context where needs are unmet and people's dignity and health are at risk, specific strategies should be developed to include men in the assistance and protection offered, particularly in relation to exposure to violence.
    • Not Forgetting Severe Mental Disorders in Humanitarian Emergencies: a Descriptive Study From the Philippines

      Weintraub, AC; Garcia, MG; Birri, E; Severy, N; Ferir, MC; Ali, E; Tayler-Smith, K; Nadera, DP; Van Ommeren, M (Oxford University Press, 2016-09-12)
      Severe mental disorders are often neglected following a disaster. Based on Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF) experience of providing mental health (MH) care after the 2013 typhoon in the Philippines, we describe the monthly volume of MH activities and beneficiaries; characteristics of people seeking MH care; profile and outcomes of people with severe mental disorders; prescription of psychotropic medication; and factors facilitating the identification and management of individuals with severe mental disorders.
    • Perceptions and Health-Seeking Behaviour for Mental Illness Among Syrian Refugees and Lebanese Community Members in Wadi Khaled, North Lebanon: A Qualitative Study

      Al Laham, D; Ali, E; Mousally, K; Nahas, N; Alameddine, A; Venables, E (Springer, 2020-01-21)
      This is a qualitative exploration of the perceptions of mental health (MH) and their influence on health-seeking behaviour among Syrian refugees and the Lebanese population in Wadi Khaled, a rural area of Lebanon bordering Syria. Eight focus group discussions and eight key informant interviews were conducted with male and female Syrian refugees and Lebanese community members from March to April 2018. MH illness was associated with stigma, shame and fear among both populations. Beliefs surrounding mental illness were strongly linked to religious beliefs, including Jinn. Religious healers were considered the first line of help for people with mental illnesses, and were perceived as culturally acceptable and less stigmatizing than MH professionals. It is essential for MH professionals to build trust with the communities in which they work. Collaboration with religious healers is key to identifying MH symptoms and creating referral pathways to MH professionals in this context.