East Asia: Mental health problems have social roots
Aware of the intertwined nature of mental health and social marginalization, Jesuit Social Services, a Melbourne-based social centre of the Australian Province, was one of a large number of concerned institutions that responded to a government inquiry on mental health.
JSS submission and recommendations focused on three problem areas corresponding to three specific groups: services to young people whose mental health problems are related to substance misuse; over-representation of mental illness in the national prison population, and thirdly, the lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services for the Vietnamese migrant population. JSS has very specific knowledge in each of these areas, acquired through its involvement in different activities.
Interestingly, the Japanese province has, on the same lines, identified mental distress as one of the main priorities of the Social Apostolate together with foreign workers and Global marginalization.
Task force on mental distress of Japan Province. Contact Shibata Yukinori, Tokyo Jesuit Social Centre, selasj@kiwi.ne.jp.
Migrants rights: A new campaign is launched
More and more governments around the world are using detention as a migration management tool. The International Coalition on Detention of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants is a recently formed coalition of non-governmental groups and individuals working around the world. It provides legal, social and other services, carries out research and reporting, and engages in advocacy and policy work on behalf of refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers.
The Jesuit Refugee Service's direct experience of the suffering that government detention policies inflict on refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants has resulted in its becoming a member of the steering committee of this new coalition. The coalition will be formally launched on 20th June 2006, World Refugee Day. Groups are already working on organizing launch events around the world. JRS would like to extend a warm invitation to partners in the Social Apostolate and to all those interested to get involved. For information, contact Melanie Teff, JRS Advocacy Coordinator, at: melanie.teff@jrs.net.

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