Although the physical health of asylum seekers holding a temporary residence permit (permit holders) is relatively good, this is to a much lesser extent the case with respect to mental health. An important point of attention is the lack of specialised culture-sensitive care, e.g. care concerning PTSS or trauma treatment. Also, early identification and prevention of mental health problems receive (too) little attention.
These are the main findings of RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment research addressing the health of residence permit holders. This research is part of a multi-annual research project in collaboration with SCP, CBS and WODC examining the socio-economic position of permit holders arriving in the Netherlands after 2014. Today this project is completed by means of a Policy letter summarising the main findings of the past years, including the points of attention concerning mental health mentioned above.
This Policy letter 2021 reflects on policy developments from the large influx of permit holders in 2015 onwards and also looks forward to the new Integration Act. This new Integration Act, expected to be in place on 1 January 2022, aims to eliminate the main problems in the current policy and integration of permit holders. This new act offers the possibility for customisation, aiming to contribute to the likelihood for permit holders to follow an as optimal as possible integration programme, despite any health problems.
In April 2021, RIVM published the most recent results (in Dutch) of this project, showing that health is an important factor in (successfully) finalising the integration programme.