Post-Migration Stressors and Mental Health for African Migrants in South Australia: A Qualitative Study

Lillian Mwanri, Nelsensius Klau Fauk, Anna Ziersch, Hailay Abrha Gesesew, Gregorius Abanit Asa, Paul Russell Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We conducted a qualitative study involving African migrants (n = 20) and service providers (n = 10) in South Australia to explore mental health stressors, access to mental health services and how to improve mental health services for African migrant populations. This paper presents the views and experiences of African migrants about the post-migration stressors they faced in resettlement that pose mental health challenges. The participants were recruited using the snowball sampling technique. To align with the COVID-19 pandemic protocol, the data collection was conducted using one-on-one online interviews through Zoom or WhatsApp video calls. Data analysis was guided by the framework analysis. The post-migration stressors, including separation from family members and significant others, especially spouses, imposed significant difficulties on care provision and in managing children’s attitudes and behavior-related troubles at school. African cultural practices involving the community, especially elders in care provision and disciplining children, were not consistent with Australian norms, compounding the mental health stressors for all involved. The African cultural norms, that do not allow young unmarried people to live together, also contributed to child–parent conflicts, enhancing parental mental stressors. Additionally, poor economic conditions and employment-related difficulties were post-migration stressors that the participants faced. The findings indicate the need for policy and intervention programs that address the above challenges. The provision of interventions, including social support such as subsidized or free childcare services, could help leverage their time and scheduled paid employment, creating time for effective parenting and improving their mental health and wellbeing. Future studies exploring what needs to be achieved by government and non-governmental institutions to support enhanced access to social and employment opportunities for the African migrant population are also recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7914
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number13
Early online date28 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • African migrants
  • Australia
  • mental health challenges
  • post-migration stressors
  • refugees
  • risk factors

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