Using evidence from a participatory action research process with over 100 asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland, this study explores participants’ views on mental health problems, stigma and discrimination. The study found migration can have adverse effects on mental health and well-being, linked to people’s social circumstances such as racism and the asylum process and that this is exacerbated by stigma and discrimination. It suggests the importance of a socio-cultural context for understanding and addressing stigma, influenced by both social and cultural causal factors, including fear, past trauma, isolation, racism and the stress of the asylum process coupled with negative cultural beliefs about mental health problems. The paper considers the international relevance of this approach and the value of a model grounded in principles of community development and grassroots action.
- participatory action
- asylum seekers