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Unsettled Minds, Unsettled Landscapes: Migration and Mental Health

International migration has reached an all-time high in 2015 where many global states were not able to keep up with the numbers of people crossing political borders. With many reasons to flee a landscape, both refugees and undocumented immigrants face the continued stressors that are part of the migratory journey, even years after their journey is over. Many who fled during this time frame were escaping war in Syria, while many others were escaping economic devastation, gender violence, and other forms of insecurity all over the world. Evidence has shown that groups who have experienced violent geographies who have been forcibly displaced have higher rates of psychiatric illness than those who were not exposed to these stressful conditions. The effects of toxic stress do not stop once the individual is taken out of the traumatic landscape; it stays within the individual as they continue their life. This study will discuss additional stressors associated with the migratory experience during and after resettlement. This thesis discusses three groups of actors associated with migration including NGOs, migrating people, and citizens affected by migration. It will discuss personal accounts of refugees and NGOs who have experience with displacement. This thesis will focus particularly on issues such as mental health and access to health, education, and employment services for displaced populations. This thesis will also discuss indicators of psychiatric illness in displaced populations and present-day solutions to restructure contemporary immigration systems around the world.