Saturday, May 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Foreign women rarely seek mental health care in Norway

Published 16 April 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Women who had lived in Norway for at least 20 years sought psychiatric care at the same rate as Norwegian women.

Immigrants in Norway, especially women, are less likely to seek mental health care than the rest of the population, according to figures from the Norwegian Public Health Agency. Women from Eastern Europe and East and Southeast Asia were the least likely to seek treatment.

District Psychiatric Centers (DPS) are part of Norway’s specialized mental health services. A new project shows that both immigrants and children of immigrants are the least likely to use this type of health service in the country, compared to the rest of the population. This is despite previous reports showing that immigrants generally have poorer mental health.

– It is therefore difficult to believe that immigrants use district mental health centers less simply because they have less need for the centers’ services, Melanie Straiton, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, said in a press release.

“Need for intervention”

Foreign women from EU countries, Eastern Europe and even East and Southeast Asia were the least likely to seek help. Women from the Middle East were more likely to seek help than other immigrant women, but still less likely than Norwegian women. There was also a correlation with length of residence, with women who had lived in Norway for at least 20 years seeking psychiatric help at the same rate as Norwegian women.

According to Straiton, this may be because immigrant women experience greater barriers to seeking psychiatric help. She therefore argues that there may be a need for greater efforts to reduce immigrants’ barriers to using health services for mental disorders.

– Efforts should be directed in particular at immigrant women who have lived in Norway for a short time, those who do not participate in the labour market, and those who have a low level of education and have grown up in low-income families.

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