Ethnic minority experiences of mental health services in the Netherlands: an exploratory study

Onaedo Ilozumba, Tirsah S. Koster, Elena V Syurina, Ikenna D Ebuenyi

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Objective: Despite considerable spending on mental health in the Netherlands, access to mental health remains suboptimal, particularly for migrants and ethnic minorities. Addressing the growing mental health service needs requires an understanding of the experiences of all stakeholders, specifically minority populations. In this exploratory study, we sought to understand the perspectives and experience of mental health services by migrants and their provider. An exploratory qualitative study was conducted with 10 participants, five of whom were mental health service providers and the other five were clients who had utilized or currently utilized MHS in the Netherlands.

Results: We identified three themes that explained the experiences of clients and providers of MHS in the Netherlands i) Perceptions of mental health service utilization ii) Mismatch between providers iii) Availability of services. The most significant factor that influenced participants experience was a service provider of a different cultural background. Minority populations accessing mental health services have multiple needs, including an expressed need for cultural understanding. Their experiences of mental health services could be improved for minority populations by addressing the diversity of health providers
Original languageEnglish
Article number266
Number of pages5
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Early online date28 Jul 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jul 2022


  • ethnic minorities
  • mental health
  • mental health services
  • migrant health
  • the Netherlands


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