Place, mobility and social support in refugee mental health

Nolas, Sevasti-Melissa, Watters, Charles, Pratt-Boyden, Keira and Maglajlic, Reima Ana (2020) Place, mobility and social support in refugee mental health. International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care. ISSN 1747-9894

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial.

Download (365kB)


This review and theoretical analysis paper aims to bring together literatures of place, mobility, refugees and mental health to problematise the ways in which social support is practised on the ground and to rethink its possibilities.

This paper draws on an interdisciplinary understanding of social support that focusses on the social networks and significant and intimate relationships that mitigate negative mental health and well-being outcomes. The authors explore the dialectic relationship between place and mobility in refugee experiences of social support.

The authors argue that, in an Euro-American context, practices of social support have historically been predicated on the idea of people-in-place. The figure of the refugee challenges the notion of a settled person in need of support and suggests that people are both in place and in motion at the same time. Conversely, attending to refugees’ biographies, lived experiences and everyday lives suggests that places and encounters of social support are varied and go beyond institutional spaces.

Research limitations/implications
The authors explore this dialectic of personhood as both in place and in motion and its implications for the theorisation, research and design of systems of social support for refugees.

This paper surfaces the dialectics of place and mobility for supporting refugee mental health from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2020 07:04
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2020 08:48

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update