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Adm Policy Ment Health. 2006 May;33(3):342-55.

Factors associated with mental health service need and utilization among unaccompanied refugee adolescents.

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Centrum '45, Rijnzichtweg 35, Oegstgeest, 2342, AX, The Netherlands.


This study is the first to address the need for mental health Care (MHC) and the patterns of utilization of MHC services among Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM). Information concerning the well being, mental health need, and utilization of services of URM was collected from three informants, the minors themselves (n = 920), their legal guardians (n = 557), and their teachers (n = 496). The well-being, need and utilization of MHC services of URM was compared with those of a representative Dutch adolescent sample (n = 1059). The findings of this study indicated that URM that report a mental health care need (57.8%) also report higher levels of emotional distress than Dutch adolescents who report a similar need for MHC (8.2%). In addition, guardians and teachers detect emotional distress and mental health care needs in only a small percentage (30%) of URM. The referral of URM to mental health care services does not appear to be driven by the reported needs of the URM, but by the need and emotional distress as observed and perceived by guardians. This resulted in the fact that 48.7% of the URM total sample reported that their need for mental health care was unmet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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