Mental Health Consultations in Immigration Detention: What Can We Learn From Clinical Records?

C Gonçalves, Leonel; Heller, Patrick; Bachmann, Anne-Claire B; Barbolini, Jonathan; Fuhrer, Clara; Gétaz, Laurent; Luke, Eric; Wolff, Hans; Baggio, Stéphanie (2024). Mental Health Consultations in Immigration Detention: What Can We Learn From Clinical Records? International journal of public health, 69, p. 1605896. Frontiers 10.3389/ijph.2024.1605896

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Objectives: Knowledge on mental health consultations in immigration detention and characteristics of people receiving consultations is scarce. Based on a sample of 230 adult men in immigration detention in Switzerland, we aimed to: (1) Quantify the proportion of persons receiving mental health consultations during detention; and (2) Identify socio-demographic and clinical characteristics associated with mental health consultations. Methods: Retrospective observational study with a cross-sectional design. Prevalence estimates, logistic regressions, and contingency tables were used to analyse the data. Results: A total of 30% of the sample received mental health consultations during detention. Time spent in immigration detention, mental health problems during detention, use of psychotropic medication, and self-harm were associated with mental health consultations. Although mental health consultations are provided to people with more severe mental health problems, 41% of persons with assessed mental health needs during the initial screening and 26% of those who self-harmed during detention did not receive mental health consultations. Conclusion: Mental health resources and screening procedures could be improved to ensure that mental health consultations are matched to clinical need in immigration detention settings.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of General Practice and Primary Care (BIHAM)

UniBE Contributor:

da Cunha Gonçalves, Leonel, Baggio, Stéphanie


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

13 Feb 2024 15:46

Last Modified:

23 Feb 2024 15:53

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Additional Information:

Open access funding by University of Geneva.

Uncontrolled Keywords:

clinical records health care services immigration detention mental health consultations socio-demographic and clinical characteristics




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