Description: Assigned the task of identifying mental health issues and mental healthcare available to migrants, this work was compiled by a task force on migration and mental health for the World Psychiatric Association (WPA).
Purpose: As the foreword acknowledges, the task force was given this assignment for numerous reasons, some of which are the need for continued education in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness within various populations, the need to understand the limitations of access to mental healthcare for migrants, and the need to appreciate the challenges associated in treating individuals from various populations throughout the world.
Audience: Though potentially of interest for those studying population dynamics or anthropology, this book is designed for a limited distribution, from those learning to practice psychiatry to those having experience in the field but limited knowledge of this area.
Features: The book begins with an exploration of the epidemiology of migration, as well as potential psychiatric conditions which can occur in these populations, and then addresses the psychological consequences of migration. It also discusses special populations within migration groups (i.e. children, the elderly, women, and LGBT), and focuses on treatment and education. Chapters end with an extensive list of references, but there are few charts, graphs, or tables.
Assessment: Unique to the field of psychiatry, this book compiles much of what has been learned about migrant populations over the past 20 to 25 years. Despite the fact that significant research remains to be done on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of migrants across the globe, this book attempts to close this knowledge gap and provide guidance for the future. It is quite common for those practicing in the field of mental health to be asked to evaluate and recommend treatments for individuals having markedly different backgrounds and experiences than themselves. In order to maintain a culturally sensitive and respectful approach, works such as this one must multiply. Minor issues with this book include its small font, the slight lack of connection between chapters, and the lack of pedagogic illustrations.