Canada amazes us again. This time holistic mental health services have been introduced to add virtue to the settlement process of newcomers who come to live and work in Canada. This program is known as the Newcomer Health & Wellness Program. It’s run by an Ontario-based organization.
The IRCC is funding the program to the tune of $2.2 million. The new program is designed to meet the needs of newcomers in a comprehensive and personalized manner. The idea behind this new initiative comes from CMHA-YRSS. It’s a branch of a national non-profit organization that serves in the York Region in the Greater Toronto area.
The purpose of the initiative for Canada immigration is to improve the well-being outcomes of refugees and immigrants through better mental health. The beneficiaries of this program are those aged 12 years and more.
Such a program has relevance. Studies show that the strains of language barriers, the stress of cultural differences, and the difficulties in blending into a new society could create mental pressure and related issues in immigrants.
The agencies that facilitate settlement of immigrants in Canada and the local mental healthcare providers offer support to newcomers who face these challenges. But the insufficiency of insight and specialization of these local agencies into the real issues of immigrants makes the new program necessary.
With the CMHA-YRSS’s program, all the insufficiencies are addressed and solved. The main feature of this program is a broad range of activities that facilitates mental health and outreach. These activities include:
- Physical and mental health assessment
- Psychotherapy and counseling
- Family counseling
- Health and wellness training and promotion
- Trauma-specific services
It’s vital for the program to create conducive spaces for delivering mental health services. The program will create a platform for the beneficiaries to describe their mental health experiences and ensure being considerate of their religious and spiritual needs.
The consideration of the diversity of the immigrants as to their characteristics, backgrounds, and issues is a key feature of the program. With this in mind, it will be possible for the community to know the specific needs of each immigrant to help them.
The program received funding for 3 years with the possibility of extension for another 2 years. The program will involve building the capacity of the community to address the needs of the newcomers. The continued support, even beyond the duration of the program is expected.
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IRCC – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
CMHS-YRSS – Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region & South Simcoe