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Policy Paper

Exploring the provision of mental health services to migrants during austerity: Perspectives of third sector organisations

Author:

Jordan Royster

GB
About Jordan

MSc Inequalities and Social Science,
Class of 2019
London School of Economics and Political Science

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Abstract

Due to austerity policies that started in the United
Kingdom in 2010, third sector organisations have
experienced an increasingly competitive funding
environment. Migrants are at a higher risk of developing
mental health problems because of a variety of factors
including trauma in their countries of origin, isolation,
discrimination and more. Furthermore, many migrants
prefer to access mental health services outside the
formal public system because such organisations tend
to take a more holistic approach, are trusted more and
offer culturally appropriate care. This report takes a
Grounded Theory approach to investigate how third
sector organisations providing mental health services
to migrants experience austerity policies in London.
Four phases of data collection, comprising of interviews,
participant observations and a public conference on the
topic, have been used to study the experiences of 15
organisations. A thematic analysis reveals the ground
impact of austerity, including, most significantly, an
erosion of the quality of care, and strategies implemented
by organisations to accommodate these impacts. This
report found that while organisations have implemented
various tactics to survive austerity, these mechanisms
have severe limitations. These findings are critical at this
time because of the impending National Health Service’s
social prescribing program, which will place these
already stretched organisations under greater strain
unless appropriate steps are taken to support the sector.
Additional research in this sector is needed to determine
the severity of the problem and the best methods to
support these organisations going forward.

How to Cite: Royster, J., 2020. Exploring the provision of mental health services to migrants during austerity: Perspectives of third sector organisations. The Public Sphere: Journal of Public Policy, 8(1).
Published on 20 Mar 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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