The Mental Health Service Requirements in Ireland for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants from Conflict Zones

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Since 2009, there has been a very serious deterioration in international affairs, particularly related to mass migration into Europe. In 2015, over one million people entered the mainland of Europe, fleeing war, poverty and persecution. Due to an agreement with Turkey, the number of Syrian refugees allowed to cross the Aegean Sea was markedly reduced in 2016 due to cash payments to Turkey and promises in relation to the free movement of Turkish nationals within the EU. It has been estimated that Turkey alone hosts three million Syrian refugees. The Irish Government has promised to integrate four thousand Syrian refugees over the next four years. In 2016, Ireland granted refuge to 760 Syrian refugeesi. Recognising that Ireland is a small country in the middle of a financial crisis, this is still a very low intake given the size of the problem. This is not the total story. An unknown number of refugees and migrants are also within Ireland, having gained access by other means. Many of these individuals have also been displaced by war, atrocities, persecution and severe poverty. All persons within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland deserve the best medical and mental health care that we provide.