Original Research

Migration and exile - some implications for mental health in post-apartheid South Africa

M C Marchetti-Mercer, J L Roos
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 12, No 3 | a67 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v12i3.67 | © 2006 M C Marchetti-Mercer, J L Roos | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 March 2008 | Published: 01 September 2006

About the author(s)

M C Marchetti-Mercer, Department of Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
J L Roos, Department of Psychiatry, Weskoppies Hospital, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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The age of globalisation and the socio-political changes that have taken place in South Africa in the past decade have created powerful contexts within which the issues of belonging and finding a ‘home’ have become very relevant to all South Africans.

This article explores the phenomena of migration and exile, which are strongly characterised by an attempt to find a place one can call ‘home’ and where one can belong, and then shows how these experiences can provide a useful framework for understanding a multicultural context such as the one in South Africa.

Some of the implications of these phenomena for mental health, specifically the link between schizophrenia and migration, will also be discussed.


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