Mental Healthcare for refugees

Atención en Salud Mental para refugiados


  • Julio Torales Researcher and Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, School of Medical Sciences, National University of Asunción, San Lorenzo – Paraguay.
  • Israel González Resident physician of Psychiatry, School of Medical Sciences, National University of Asunción, San Lorenzo – Paraguay.
  • Iván Barrios Teaching assistant, Research Methodology Department, School of Medical Sciences, National University of Asunción, San Lorenzo – Paraguay.
  • João Castaldelli-Maia Researcher and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo – Brazil.
  • Margarita Samudio Researcher, Institute of Research in Health Sciences, National University of Asunción, San Lorenzo – Paraguay.
  • Antonio Ventriglio Researcher, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia – Italy.


Palabras clave:

mental health providers, mental healthcare, refugees


The aim of this paper is to highlight some of the difficulties that mental health providers face when trying to provide the best standard of mental healthcare to refugees, especially in countries where the political environment is skeptic of, or even hostile to, creating programs specifically designed to improve the standard of living of this population. We also focus briefly on the dichotomy between the need to do research in this population in order to obtain data that will help us offer the best care possible to them, and the peril of undermining their autonomy by subjecting them to studies they might have otherwise refused to be part of, if they were in a less precarious position. Throughout the article, we offer practical advice that mental healthcare providers can follow to ensure that they are offering the best possible care to their patients while remaining respectful of their rights.

 Keywords: Mental health providers; Mental healthcare; Refugees.


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