213176 Mental Health in Detention

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:00 PM

Allen S. Keller, MD , NYU Medical School, New York, NY
Mental health is a pressing concern for detained immigrants and their advocates. Detention creates unique stressors that can exacerbate existing mental health problems as well as create new mental health concerns. In 2003 our organization conducted a survey of detained asylum seekers that revealed high levels of mental health problems, many of which worsened in detention. Reporting by advocacy organizations, and our own medical advocacy work, suggests that mental health problems are widespread among the larger ICE detainee population and that care for mental health problems fails to meet community standards. Because detention itself is an independent contributor to mental health problems, we advocate for the release of detainees with serious mental health problems from detention and the improvement of care for those remain detained.

Learning Objectives:
Describe mental health concerns for detained immigrants. Discuss possible improvements for promotion of detainee mental health.

Keywords: Immigrants, Jails and Prisons

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Experience researching and advocating in the area of detainee health
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.