One third of immigrants say their mental health has deteriorated during COVID-19, survey results say

One in third of the immigrants, who answered Mental Health Finland’s survey conducted by MIOS project, said their mental health has deteriorated during the pandemic. Those who are enrolled in integration program experience less anxiety and do not suffer as much.

Immigrants whose mental health has deteriorated since the outbreak of the pandemic sleep less, eat more and more often and exercise less compared to pre-Corona times.

One in four immigrant feels extensively worried about the pandemic while half did express feeling worried. Only a quarter said they are not worrying too much or none at all.

Reasons of worry vary. Almost half of the survey participants (48 %) said the international mobility restrictions are affecting their lives and plans. One third expressed their worry about their own or immediate family’s financial situation.

The biggest reason of worry during the pandemic, according to survey results, for immigrant population in Finland are those family members who do not live in Finland. Participants are more worried, for example, about their long distance family members' health than their own or children's health. 23 % said feeling worried about their home country’s situation in general and 13 % said being worried for long distance family’s financil situation.

Results also show that immigrants, who are enrolled in integration program, are less worried, less stressed and feel more positive and hopeful than those who are employed, unemployed or furloughed. Of those only 21 % said their mental health has deteriorated during the pandemic, strikingly less than the average answer 33 %. 

67 % of those who are enrolled in integration program believe to receive enough information from Finnish authorities on Corona regulations and restrictions.  In comparison to those who are employed and unemployed, those under integration program said they have adapted to the state of emergency and have been able to re-organise their daily habits better. While 19 % of unemployed said they do not know where to get help if needed, the percentage was only 8 among the ones under integration program.

The survey was conducted by MIOS project during 16.4.- 13.5. The aim of the project is to strengthen mental health of immigrants and promote inclusion in Finland. The survey was released in 9 different languages: Finnish, English, Arabic, Russian, Turkish, Somali, French, Persian and Thai. 67 % of participants were women and 32 % men. Total number of participants was 1170. The pool of participants is not a representative sample of Finnish immigrant population. View the full results here.

Read the summary of the survey results in Arabic or Russian.

Further information

Project officer Melis Ari-Gurhanli: 040 186 8122

Project manager Johannes Parkkonen: 040 040 2130


Johannes Parkkonen
Yksikön päällikkö
Nuorisotoiminta, Mielenterveys kasvuympäristöissä

+358 400 402 130Maistraatinportti 4 A, 7. krs, 00240 Helsinki

Melis Ari-Gürhanli
MIOS-hanke, Mielen hyvinvointia ja osallisuutta monikulttuurisessa Suomessa

+358 40 186 8122Maistraatinportti 4 A, 7. krs, 00240 Helsinki