THL study shows high amount of mental health problems suffered by Russians, Somalis and Kurds

by , under Enrique

The first question that came to mind when I read a disturbing study of Russian, Somali and Kurdish immigrants by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is why now? If the THL study is the first-ever of its kind in Finland about immigrants’ health and living conditions, why has it taken such a long time to materialize? 

One of the biggest surprises of the study was the high amount of immigrants who suffered from mental-health problems, THL researcher, Seppo Kosinen, was quoted as saying on Helsingin Sanomat.

In the study, males were healthier than women.

Taking into account the high amount of mental health issues that the THL study reveals, probably the biggest surprise is how little the health authorities knew about the state of health of some immigrant groups in Finland.

Does one need to be an expert to grasp that unemployment, discrimination, social exclusion and poverty are some culprits behind the mental health problems of immigrants? Certainly there are other ones like traumas endured in their former war-ravaged home countries.

Another matter that bothered me about the study was its shortened name, Maamu, which sounds like mamuthe shortened form of the Finnish name for immigrant, or maahanmuuttaja. 

While some immigrants don’t have a problem with this word, some do. If Finns call immigrants mamu is it then ok  to refere to men or women as äijä (dude) or gimma (chick), respectively.

Migrant Tales welcomes the belated THL study since it shows that Finnish health authorities are starting to take a real interest in the well-being of immigrants in this country.

  1. eyeopener

    Hi Enrique.

    Without the information on the research questions and the reason for this research this issue is to be disregarded. I will put this in the corner of Women are less intelligent as men. Boys learn more quickly than girls. Blacks are less educated than whites aso aso.

    Let’s wait and see what were the reasons for the research. Real interest in the weel-being of immigrants or something else.

    I tend to be rather sritical when these kind of messages find their way into the media. This tells a story of ignorance of the author of the article. At least a very superficial stance and hardly a critical investigation.

    In contrast to the highly trumpeted level of Finnish education a substantal part of Finnish journalists show poor command of research methods especially discourse analysis or content analysis. Here we see a very good example of superficiality.

    Best regards

  2. eyeopener

    Hi Mark.

    My point is that this journalist uncritically cites a report and thus acts unprofessionally.

    The journalist should have added the reasons for this research and reviewed the research questions. In the way the report outcomes are presented now can lead to misunderstanding and misuse of the report and its outcomes. For instance: Didn’t you wonder why Russians, Somalis and Kurds are the objects of this research?? Or: why are these results published at THIS VERY MOMENT??

    I expect professionalism from journalists. Not “copy-and-paste” or worse.

    Clear now??

  3. D4R

    Unfortunately the mental state of vicible immigrants is in critical stage and nobody knows nothing about it. Ive met some former friends i havent met a while and they arent the same, their personality changed totally and they have this weird stare that looks through you. Like Enrique says, if an imigrants is conctantly under pressure like social exclusion and racism, no hope for future then what do you expect? that would drive anybodies mental health down the drain.