Pandemic mental health concerns for immigrant community
The report from Varða workplace research concludes that a targeted response is needed to prevent immigrant mental health becoming a long-term problem.
Over a third with mental health concerns
The research was carried out in November and December, with data collected through online questions answered by close to 9,000 members of the ASÍ and BSRB labour confederations.
Mental health was assessed on the PHQ-9 self assessment scale and asked respondents how many times in the past 14 days they had experienced a particular symptom.
Proportionately more immigrants than people born in Iceland reported feeling symptoms nearly daily in all nine question areas: 34.9 percent compared to 22.3 percent of native Icelanders experiencing poor mental health during the pandemic.
Among possible explanations are unemployment and/or poor financial stability; both of which have affected immigrants worse during the crisis. Immigrants could also have been proportionately more affected by international travel restrictions and often having smaller friend/family networks.
More jobs and easier travel may not be enough on their own to undo the damage, the report authors believe.