Venezuelan migrants in Colombia: COVID-19 and mental health
Venezuelan migrants in Colombia are experiencing psychological stressors stemming from political turmoil, poverty, displacement, exploitation, and the COVID-19 pandemic.1 More than 5 million people have departed Venezuela since 2015.2 The largest subgroup, more than 1·8 million individuals, continues to move into Colombia, often trekking on foot and dispersing nationwide. Two million pendular migrants cross into Colombia cyclically, seeking food, clothing, medicines, health care, and education. The mental health of Venezuelan migrants is compounded by the extreme hardships inside Venezuela, the resulting exodus, and the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Exposure to trauma, loss, and life-changing events throughout all phases of migration increases the risk of developing psychiatric disorders.3, 4, 5 We discuss these risks while describing the migration journey (appendix 2).
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