Child migrants, mental health and the immigration system

Discussing issues related to mental health disorders among irregular migrant children with a senior healthcare professional in Birmingham, we asked if the way the immigration system operates may be one of them. She explains:  

“[…] Yes, without a doubt. The initial accommodation place that we’ve got, it’s safe, but I mean it’s not a suitable accommodation for children, for young children. There’s very few play facilities, there’s very little outdoor space, there’s no real, umm, you know sort of separate kind of children’s menu that’s suitable for them and ah, you know, culturally the menu is not necessarily suitable for everybody. And of course for older children, they’ve got nothing to do. So I think, I think that having passed through those sort of places and then maybe been moved from house to house can be probably as stressful, if not more stressful than where they’ve come from. And of course, the adults with them are often very anxious and stressed and we see that very much in the initial accommodation and of course that has an impact on their care for the children”.

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