Immigrant children and youngsters gets psychiatric help less frequently

Children of immigrantsChildren of immigrants.Photo.

Children and young people with immigrant backgrounds get l psychiatric help ess frequently than ethnic Norwegian children and adolescents, according to a new report.

A new study from the Norwegian Social Research (NOVA), shows that children and young people with immigrant backgrounds are using the psychiatry services rarely.

Researcher Dawit Shawela Abebe told NRK news that there is little to suggest that the differences due to immigrant children are suffering less from mental problems than ethnic Norwegian.

– Previous research in Norway shows that the immigrant children and youth have often or just as often mental health problems as ethnic Norwegian children and youth, says Shawela.

Leoul Mekonen, program coordinator at the Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health East and the South, says that this is a pattern shared by several Western countries.

– When you come from a culture where mental problems are considered to be shameful, taboo carries a stigma, that becomes a part of you, Mekonen says .

He believes lack of knowledge about mental illness and how health care can help in this, is an important reason.

Health care can disseminate knowledge and change attitudes, he says.
– Without transparency and without making the immigrant population aware of this, I do not think we can change the trend, Mekonen says .


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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