Finland’s Immigration Service (Migri) is calling for more mental health care facilities to accommodate the increasing number of migrant patients.
The southern city of Lahti houses Migri’s only unit with 20 beds; it’s constantly full, and has an annual budget of 1.3 million euros.
"There is a constant queue at the facility,” said a Migri official to Finland’s Yle in a Wednesday interview.
Migri’s reception center chief, Kimmo Lehto, appealed to the Ministry of Interior for the funding of an additional unit.
The facility’s daily cost per migrant patient is 200 euros, which is significantly higher than the 55 figure seen at regular facilities.
Lehto stressed that helping migrants with mental health problems was important for security reasons, but most are officially depressed from failed asylum requests.
"Most of the people there are depressed,” said Lehto. “They are in Lahti for three-month treatment periods, for example.”
“We try to make sure that the situation doesn't deteriorate so that institutional care is required."
Correspondingly, 9,000 of the country's 11,400 migrants that currently dwell in reception centers have recieved denials on their asylum applications.
The depression seems to compound in this beurocratic limbo since many reapply for asylum in a process that can last for years.
(PHOTO: Markku Ulander / Staff / Getty Images)