Reaching out: Social Support and Mental Health Problems of Bosnian Immigrants in Switzerland

Selvira Draganović


A state of well being in which one realizes own potentials, can cope with every day stressors, can work productively and is able to constructively contribute to community is called mental health. Many stressful and negative events can interfere with these abilities and thus endanger someone’s mental health. Migration is one of them. With its’ pre and post phases/stages, migration represents great sources of stress and stressors. Immigrants need good personal and social resource in order to lessen down negative effects of migration on their mental health. The aim of this study is to explore presence of mental health problems in non clinical population of Bosnian immigrants (N=101, F=48, M=53) in Switzerland. It was assumed that migration stress acts negatively on immigrant’s mental health. General health questionnaire was used to test this hypothesis. Participants mean score results on total GHQ28 questionnaire were M=51.06, S.D. =14.30, its subscales on depression M=10.12 S.D.=3.75, somatic complaints M=13.04 S.D.=4.5, anxiety/insomnia M=13.34 S.D. 4.8, and social dysfunction M=14.37 S.D.=3.5. This indicates presence of mental health problems among Bosnian immigrants. At the same time, the study shows presence of social support seeking (N=83 subjects listed family and friends) as primary coping strategy used by Bosnian immigrants while dealing with difficulties and problems rather than seeking professional help (N=3 subjects listed professional help seeking). Thus, social support seeking acts positively on mental health of Bosnian immigrants.


Mental Health; Immigrants; Bosnian Immigrants; Social Support

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2014 Epiphany

Epiphany (pISSN 2303-6850, eISSN 1840-3719) is currently Indexed/Abstracted