Does engaging in peer-to-peer awareness-raising have any effect on returnee migrants’ mental health and psychosocial status? A pilot study from West Africa
This longitudinal study examines the mental well-being of returnees participating in the second phase of the 'Migrants as Messengers' project over a three-year period. In West Africa, a significant number of young people migrate irregularly, facing extreme stressors during their journey. Upon returning, they often encounter stigma and social status loss in their communities. The project aims to address these challenges by empowering West African youth who have experienced irregular migration to raise awareness among their peers. Through storytelling and public exposure, these volunteers overcome marginalization, promoting self-representation, social recognition, and agency. This pilot study is part of a broader strategy, mainstreaming Mental Health and Psychosocial Support principles and exploring the link between participatory awareness raising and community-based support. It aims to provide evidence-based recommendations for future programming in this field.