Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 100–106 | Cite as

Knowledge of Determinants of Mental Health Among Iranian Immigrants of BC, Canada: “A Qualitative Study”

  • Siavash Jafari
  • Souzan Baharlou
  • Richard MathiasEmail author
Original Paper


Background When individuals enter a new community, they face many challenges in terms of adjusting to a new language, different customs and unfamiliar norms. These challenges may result in mental and/or general health problems. Objectives and methods The primary purpose of this study was to ascertain the mental health knowledge of Iranian immigrants and the impact of immigration on the development of mental health problems among these immigrants. Results Participants defined “mental health” in terms of psychological, social and emotional aspects and an absence of mental illnesses. Several immigration-related risk factors, such as lack of English, under- or unemployment, cultural differences, and lack of social support were revealed as barriers to successful acculturation. Conclusions Culturally sensitive and competent programs are needed to understand the needs of Iranian immigrants to be able to design and implement appropriate mental health programs.


Mental health Iranian migrants Mental illness Qualitative study Immigration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siavash Jafari
    • 1
  • Souzan Baharlou
    • 2
  • Richard Mathias
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Medical Council of IranVancouverCanada

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