Chapter 8. Mental Health Problems in Refugees

  1. Norman Sartorius2,
  2. Wolfgang Gaebel3,
  3. Juan José López-Ibor4 and
  4. Mario Maj5
  1. Benedetto Saraceno,
  2. Shekhar Saxena and
  3. Pallab K. Maulik

Published Online: 29 APR 2002

DOI: 10.1002/0470846488.ch8

Psychiatry in Society

Psychiatry in Society

How to Cite

Saraceno, B., Saxena, S. and Maulik, P. K. (2002) Mental Health Problems in Refugees, in Psychiatry in Society (eds N. Sartorius, W. Gaebel, J. J. López-Ibor and M. Maj), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/0470846488.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Geneva, Switzerland

  2. 3

    University of Düsseldorf, Germany

  3. 4

    Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

  4. 5

    University of Naples, Italy

Author Information

  1. Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence, World Health Organization, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 APR 2002
  2. Published Print: 30 APR 2002

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471496823

Online ISBN: 9780470846483



  • refugee;
  • internally displaced persons;
  • mental health;
  • children in war;
  • PTSD;
  • depression;
  • adjustment disorders;
  • stress;
  • community care;
  • World Health Organization


With the changing geopolitical situation of the world the number of refugees and internally displaced persons is increasing. Mental health problems are also a major issue for this group of person. Depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, psychosis and childhood and adolescent related disorders have high prevalence. Management should include not only emergency care but also community care with efforts to redevelop psychiatric services infrastructure. WHO, along with other international organizations can help during the emergency care and also provide training and technical support in developing mental health services that would help in managing mental disorders affecting these populations. The chapter gives an outline of existing epidemiology and issues related to management with emphasis on the policy and the role of WHO.