Migrant Health

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities define vulnerable migrants as:

A rapid needs assessment undertaken by the Doctors of the World showed how COVID and the UK response has disproportionally impacted excluded groups, namely vulnerable migrants, sex workers, homeless people, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities and those recently released from prison. These groups routinely face stigma and barriers when trying to access healthcare which has increased their vulnerabilities to health problems and social isolation

Individuals seeking asylum

More people are migrating than ever before, some of whom have been forcibly displaced and despite the World Health organisation Constitution of 1948 stating that everyone has a right to health, migrants experience difficulties in accessing health services and this has resulted in migration and health becoming well recognised as a global public health priority.

The kind of health and wellbeing issues that might effect migrants are:

Very Brief Intervention


Language Barriers

Language may be a barrier to engagement so you may need to use google translate to instigate some conversations initially.

Additionally, if you follow this link you will find a list of translated information on a range of health and wellbeing subjects, translated into over 60 languages. All information targets migrant communities.


Once on the page, scroll down and you’ll see a language drop down box on the LHS, and all resources listed will automatically translate to the chosen language. (You’ll find more information about this service is under the ACT tab).

Some local services provide a translation service as well.

Here you will find questions you might ask if you start a conversation with a migrant about their health and wellbeing. Migrants are likely to be wary of the authorities so make it clear that you are here to help and support and try to build trust.

Are you a migrant? Don’t be afraid, I don’t need to see papers I want to know if you would you like any help or support in your current circumstances?

Can you speak English? What languages do you speak?

Would you like me to try to connect you with someone who you can speak to you in your language about your situation?

There are organisations who support refugees and asylum seekers, providing advice about applying for accommodation, financial support and accessing health services? Would you like details of those services?

Do you have a safe place to stay at the moment?

Do you need access to a GP or health professional as I can provide some service information to help you with that?




What you can do to help depends on the particular circumstances and needs of the individual. 

Please click on the below regional links for information about Migrant Health and Wellbeing support services relating to your locality.



Migrant Help

Migrant Help protect people affected by displacement and exploitation, helping them thrive as individuals and recover from their trauma.  Core services include Asylum Support, and those seeking asylum in the UK can come to MH to seek help with applying for accommodation and financial support, to report issues with asylum accommodation, and any other advice needed. MH can advise individuals in their language on issues such as:

  • Accessing healthcare
  • How to claim asylum
  • Applying for asylum support including accommodation
  • Notifying the Home Office if your circumstances change
  • Finding legal representation

Tel: 0808 8010 503. A free asylum helpline available 24 hours a day

Web: http://www.migranthelpuk.org

Refugee Council

Refugee Council stand up for the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum – exploring the issues that affect them, informing the public, and working for fairer government policy. They provide specialist mental health support to help refugees to rebuild their lives using the resilience, strength and skills acquired on their journeys. Experienced and highly qualified therapists apply a range of evidenced-based and best practice approaches.

Tel: 0207 346 6700 Office hours

Web: https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/

Translated health information for migrants

Provides a list of translated information on a range of health and wellbeing subjects, translated into over 60 languages. All information targets migrant communities and subjects include:

Web: https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/translated-health-information/

Patients Not Passports

A toolkit designed to support you in advocating for people facing charges for NHS care, and in taking action to end immigration checks and upfront charging in the NHS.

Website: https://patientsnotpassports.co.uk/


Praxis provide expert support to migrants and refugees in the UK. They are a leading expert in finding pathways out of destitution and supporting migrants facing homelessness, as well as survivors of trafficking and domestic violence and young people. They provide free immigration advice over the phone. Support includes securing rights, safe housing, influencing and advocacy and interpreting and training.

Tel: 020 7749 7608 or 020 7749 7605 - Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm and Thursdays from 10am to 12.30pm.

Web: https://www.praxis.org.uk/

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

JCWI provide free legal advice to  asylum seekers and refugees at all stages of the legal process, including:

  • Applications to the Home Office
  • Entry Clearance
  • Appeals
  • Judicial Review

If you are in the UK without status and need free and confidential legal advice, call the helpline: 

Tel: 020 7553 7470. Open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10am and 1pm.

Web: https://www.jcwi.org.uk/


Local Support and Contact Details