Posted October 14, 2018 11:50:01 A new study from the Irish Institute for Health Research has revealed that people who live in areas where the number of asylum seekers has doubled over the past three years are more likely to have higher levels of depression and anxiety than those living in other parts of the country.
The study, conducted by the Irish Refugee Council, looked at over 1,000 people living in rural areas of the county of Mayo and compared them with other areas in the county.
In rural areas, the majority of people who sought asylum in Ireland were granted permanent residency in the United Kingdom.
Around one in five of those living there were from Romania and the Czech Republic, with more than a quarter of the people living there claiming asylum in the UK.
But there were also those who had moved from other countries, with people from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iraq and Bangladesh all claiming asylum.
The majority of the asylum seekers who sought refuge in Ireland had lived in the past 12 months, with just under a quarter living in the year to September.
However, those living on farms, in small towns and in rural towns were more likely than people living on large estates to be suffering from depression and a number of other mental health issues.
These included anxiety, eating disorders and eating disorders that were associated with poverty.
Depression and anxiety were also found to be higher among asylum seekers from Poland, Bulgaria, Russia and India, with a third of people living here having depression.
The report found that, compared with those living outside the country, people who lived in areas with a higher number of migrants were more at risk of experiencing depression and other mental illnesses.
People living in areas of higher levels, such as areas with the highest number of people claiming asylum, were also more likely of experiencing other mental illness including psychosis, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“This study clearly shows that the higher levels that migrants from Europe are claiming to come to Ireland are associated with increased risk of developing depression and related mental health problems in people who are already at higher risk,” said Prof Michael O’Connor, the Irish Research Director for the IRCC.
“It also shows that people living within the larger areas where migration has been increasing are at a greater risk of being exposed to stress and anxiety related to their migration, even after accounting for the fact that there is a significant proportion of people already living in those areas.”
While the overall number of EU migrants living in Ireland has been declining over the last two years, the number in rural and small towns has continued to increase, and the areas with migrants from other EU countries have increased.
“The IRCC has launched a national campaign to highlight the impact of migrants in rural Ireland and has also launched a new website to assist those in the rural community to support their local community.