Twitter Space Discussion Immigration & Mental Health: The Psychological Consequences of Immigration & Remedies

As part of its ongoing online discussion series, the Afghan Institute of Strategic Studies held a Twitter space on May 22, 2023, under the title "Immigration and Mental Health: Psychological Consequences of Immigration& Remedies”. Dr. Ruhullah Amin, psychologist and former professor of the American University of Afghanistan, Dr. Batool Haidari , Psychologist and  University lecturer, and Dr. Ghulam Sarwar Sakha, Psychiatrist  in England, were the speakers in this program. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Khushal Nabizadeh, the former head of Public Health Directorate in Kabul. 

Dr. Batool discussed the differences between the recent migration after the collapsed of Afghanistan and previous migrations of Afghans and assessed its psychological aspects. According to Dr. Haidari , those who normally decide to migrate, make a conscious decision and take the path of migration, but in the migrations after the fall of the regime, was a sudden migration and displacement. According to Dr. Haidari , this case was one of the main reasons for the high level of psychological problems among immigrants.

Dr. Ruhullah Amin talked about the psychological world of an asylum seeker and displayed individual. According to Dr. Amin, the mental world of every immigrant is unique like his fingerprint, but this world also has similarities. Every Afghan immigrant has drawn a small Afghanistan in his mind in the world of immigration and lives with it. Dr. Amin also talked about the role of gender in the mental state of immigrants and explained that each gender experiences different challenges. Especially for most Afghan men, the loss of control over the family has caused psychological damage. Dr. Amin also pointed to some  solutions to deal with mental problems. 

Dr. Ghulam  Sarwar Sakha talked about his experiences in dealing with the psychological problems of Afghan immigrants in England. Dr. Sakha explained that most of the developed countries that host immigrants have comprehensive services to support the psychological condition of immigrants. But Dr. Sakha also mentioned the obstacles face by immigrants in  accessing these services, including language restrictions, social taboos and its psychological effects among a number of Afghan immigrants.

At the end of the program, a number of participants in the program raised their questions, views and suggestions.