Case Study #3: Mental health: a key factor for social inclusion
This case study forms part of a series of case studies on good practices, lessons learnt and recommendations extracted from the projects supported by the Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) to enhance migration management for local development. The experience of the JMDI shows that the most effective initiatives are anchored with local or regional authorities and carried out in a multi-stakeholder and participatory approach, including migrants and migrants’ associations or diaspora. This is increasingly important given global trends of increasing decentralization and urbanization with urban areas being the destination of choice for most migrants and displaced persons. Thus the series aims to provide local actors with tools and ideas to take on this role as many can lack the means, human and financial resources, know-how or necessary support to tap into the local development potential of migration.
This case study provides insight into an area of migration management that has not been thoroughly explored: the topic of mental health of migrants and displaced persons. The right to health from an integral approach, including social, physical and mental aspects, is largely recognised as a universal human right and a pre-requisite for a dignified and active/empowered life. In the case of people that migrate or are displaced, the difficulty and complexity of the situations they face in the countries of origin or destination or during their journey may have led to destabilizing psychosocial effects that need to be adequately addressed in order to improve their well-being and allow for their successful integration into the community. Indeed, it is important to recognise that mental health is an essential condition relating to the social, economic and cultural inclusion of migrants and displaced persons.