The Mental Health Impacts of Immigration Detention Centers On Asylum Seekers: A Comparative Analysis of Canada and the United States
This paper is a literature review examining the mental health impacts that immigration detention centers have on asylum seekers in Canada and the United States (US). Drawing evidence from the social exclusion framework, it assesses explicitly the negative connotation of being isolated from society. The review focuses on the inability of detention centers in dealing with asylum seekers with pre-existing mental health conditions; how inadequate access to proper health care contributes to extending their existing mental health concerns; and how detention centers resemble forced confinement and contribute to family separation adding to the trauma of detainees, specifically children. In addition, this paper recommends that Canada and the US must adopt Alternatives to Detention (ATD) with a specific focus on Community Based Programs as policy adjustments to deal with asylum seekers effectively.