The Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region & South Simcoe (CMHA-YRSS), an Ontario-based organization that is a part of a national non-profit organization catering to the York Region in the Greater Toronto Area, has decided to provide holistic mental health services to make the settlement process easy for newcomers to Canada.
The new initiative will focus on enhancing the well-being and improving the mental health of immigrants and refugees who are aged 12 years and older. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are funding this initiative known as the Newcomers’ Health and Well-Being Program. It will fulfill the requirements of each newcomer in a comprehensive but customized manner.
Why are the services necessary?
Ongoing research about the mental health of new immigrants finds that they are especially vulnerable to mental health issues. A recent study published by the IRCC and Statistics Canada found that immigrants are even healthier than Canadian-born citizens when they first arrive in Canada. This phenomenon is known as the “healthy immigrant effect”.
However, this initial health boost takes a hit because of the stresses and problems caused by cultural differences and language barriers. The process of integrating into the society of a new country is often stressful and time-consuming. Studies also show that the immigrant and refugee population experience a significant rise in incidents related to mental distress, anxiety, depression, trauma.
What does the program offer?
The CMHA-YRSS program wants to address the existing gaps in the mental healthcare landscape for immigrants. Introduced in August, the program will consist of many mental health and outreach activities to help people. Counseling and psychotherapy, mental and physical health assessment and family counseling are just some of the available services.