Indexed on: 27 May '14Published on: 27 May '14Published in: Psychiatrische Praxis
Vietnamese migrants underutilize and are a "hard to reach group" within the existing mental health care system in Germany.We analyzed migration related and clinical data for all first-time Vietnamese migrants seeking psychiatric help, within the first 30 months of a newly established outpatient clinic, offering culture-sensitive psychiatric treatment in native Vietnamese language.Most first time patients were female, first generation Vietnamese migrants with poor German language skills. Only 1 /3 of all patients had a psychiatric history, while this number was higher in patients with schizophrenia. Over time, more first time patients with depression were seeking psychiatric care, accompanied with an increase of non-professional referrals within the Vietnamese communities.This first study on mental health care utilization in Vietnamese migrants in Germany points towards the fact that "migrants" cannot be considered as a homogeneous group. Mental health care utilization must be evaluated for specific migrant groups, and can be initially improved if offered in native language and when it is referred to by members of migrant communities.