First Generation Immigrants

 General Considerations and Risk factors

  • Migrant communities are not a homogenous group, and some migrant groups may be at greater risk of mental ill health than others.

  • Migration occurs across the globe due to a range of factors such as conflict, unemployment and poverty.

  • COVID-19 has a major impact on immigration policies. Apprehension and uncertainty loom. Interruptions in immigration status put patients at risks of becoming illegal if they protract their stay in the country trying to find new prospects (such as international workers and recently graduated international students seeking employment under an Optional Practical Training).

  • First generation migrants are reportedly at higher risk of mental ill-health compared to the settled population. Downward social mobility, host country, and country of origin are associated with an increased risk of mental ill health in first generation migrants

  • Stressors: economic, discrimination, acculturation due to language differences, enculturation, parenting differences, and finding suitable employment.

  • Barriers: stigma, lack of a perceived norm in country of origin for using mental health services, competing cultural practices, lack of information, language barriers, and cost

(SCRIPTS) Culturally empathetic visits:

  • I would like to understand the problems that bring you here so that I can help you more effectively. I want to know about your experience and ideas. This information will not be shared with others

  • People often understand their problems in their own way, which may be similar to or different from how doctors describe the problem. How would you describe your problem?

  • Why do you think this is happening to you? What do you think are the causes of your problem?

  • Are there any kinds of stresses that make your problem worse, such as difficulties with money, or family problems?

  • Are there any kinds of support that make your problem better, such as support from family, friends, or others?

  • Do you foresee any interruption in your care because of immigration problems?  What can we do?



University of Michigan Interpreter Services