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Migration, Violence, Mental Health

Psychotraumatology, Health Policies and Protection

Massimiliano Aragona    National Institute for Health, Migration and Poverty (INMP/NIHMP), Rome, Italy    

Salvatore Geraci    Italian Society of Migration Medicine; Caritas Health Area, Rome, Italy    

Marco Mazzetti    Psychiatrist, Teaching Transactional Analyst, Milan; Italian Society of Migration Medicine; Caritas Health Area, Rome, Italy    



This chapter discusses psychopathological issues related to migration in general, and to the so-called ‘forced migrants’ in particular. The latter are those migrants who are forced to flee their countries to save themselves from violence. As a consequence, they are more at risk for mental health issues due to the lack of a migration project (which is a resilience factor in migrants) and to the psychotraumatic experiences they suffer. We will describe the psychopathological reactions in traumatised persons, the effect of re-traumatisation they suffer during the migratory trip, and the role of Post-Migration Living Difficulties occurring in Italy in worsening the mental health of asylum seekers. Moreover, a brief section on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on these persons will be added, focusing on mental health service utilisation. Finally, we will discuss the difficulties of the Italian National Health Service in adequately healing these persons, and the indication given by the Italian National Guidelines to create services dedicated to these topics.

Jan. 11, 2023
Sept. 5, 2022
Aug. 31, 2022

Keywords: BordersMental HealthMigration, ViolenceReadmission agreementsViolenceMental healthCrimes against humanityPrinciple of non-refoulementTortureMigrationPsychotraumatology

Copyright: © 2023 Massimiliano Aragona, Salvatore Geraci, Marco Mazzetti. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.