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Multicultural Issues in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Ireland

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Objective: As have many nations in the West and North America, Ireland has become a multicultural nation after being a fairly homogeneous one. The balance of migration has been inward, only stemmed by the recent financial crisis, and this has changed its complexion culturally and in terms of mental health needs.

Method: We report on trends and data on the mental health needs of the growing population of children of immigrants in Ireland and the implications for Irish child mental health services.

Results: Despite immigrant children making up 10% of the primary school-going population in Ireland, very little research has been published on their mental health wellbeing. Challenges, both positive and negative, continue to confront many families. As a group they are generally faring less well than native born Irish children in terms of overall quality of life, school inclusion, and sense of acceptance. Access and uptake of mental health services is poor and may reflect lack of culturally competent assessments.

Conclusions: The management of immigration and integration will continue to be a challenge for the Irish State. Establishment of cross cultural competency in mental health services and inclusion of migrant families in policy formation would go a long way to understanding what services will best meet their needs.
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Keywords: Ireland; Multicultural issues; child mental health

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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  • Adolescent Psychiatry publishes reports of original research, critical reviews of topics relevant to practitioners, clinical observations with analysis and discussion, analysis of philosophical, ethical or social aspects of the fields of psychiatry and mental health, case reports with discussions, letters, and position papers. Adolescent Psychiatry, a peer-reviewed journal, and the official journal of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, aims to provide mental health professionals who work with adolescents with current information relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in adolescence.
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