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Unemployment causes more mental health problems among Somalis in London than in Minneapolis
Date:9/7/2012

well-being of refugee populations. In Minneapolis, at present, refugees are supported when they arrive and are allowed to work. However, in London, they are not allowed to work until their immigration status has been processed and they have been given permission to stay in the country. Preventing an able and gifted population from working is not helpful and can be detrimental to the psychological wellbeing of refugee communities, and thus their prospects of successful integration in the long term."

Women appeared to have better mental health than men, as men suffered from loss of their masculine identity due to being unemployed. Stigmatised refugee identity and reversal of traditional gender roles were also among the significant psychological problems found among the London and Minneapolis Somalis.

"If Somali immigrants are supported for the first few years of their time in a new country, and are able to work, they will do better and live economically active lives, with fewer mental health problems," added Dr Warfa. "Whereas if these support mechanisms are not in place, then it can end up costing more in the long term because of ongoing health costs."


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Contact: Emma Mason
e.mason@qmul.ac.uk
Queen Mary, University of London
Source:Eurekalert

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