More and more, non-traditional health practices are being introduced into mainstream healthcare, and The Newcomers' Mental Health and Well Being Program is one of them. Based in Ontario, the Newcomers' Mental Health and Well-Being Program has introduced holistic mental health services to help newcomers settle in Canada.
This $2.2 million initiative, funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) was designed by The Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region and South Simcoe (a non-profit organization in the greater Toronto area). It focuses on helping foreign immigrants, aged 12 years and older, adjust and acclimate to their new lives in Canada
Mental health is a global issue and moving to a new country can be a very challenging experience, with many immigrants finding themselves faced with having to adjust to a new way of life, different cultural norms and often experience “culture shock”.
According to a Statistic Canada study/IRCC, foreigners are often healthier than those originally from Canada. This phenomenon is known as “the healthy immigrant effect”.
This effect, however, does not always last, as after time the language barrier, cultural differences, past traumatic experiences and settling into Canada begins to take its toll and can lead to mental distress, depression and anxiety.
It is with this in mind that the CMHA-YRSS program aims to aid those who are struggling to adjust.
The Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region and South Simcoe
The Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region and South Simcoe (CMHA-YRSS) aims to fill the void that the newcomers' settlement services fail to provide, offering a variety of mental health and outreach programs, including assessments, counselling and psychotherapy and trauma-specific services in a safe and welcoming environment to immigrants in Canada. These services use a screening tool specifically for immigrants and refugees, taking care to ensure that both spiritual and religious needs are taken into account.
The CMHA-YRSS will receive support for the next three years to five years and aims to improve the community’s ability to provide for the needs of immigrants in Canada and provide equal quality mental health services and ensure that they live well rounded and healthy lives in Canada.
Mental Health Tips for Immigrants in Canada
1. Adjust Your Expectations
Finding the right job once you’ve just moved to Canada is difficult and can add a lot of pressure to an already stressful situation. Be realistic with your goals and don’t feel discouraged if you have to take a job that does not fit the scope of your dream job. In a recent report, 95% of Express Entry candidates stated that they found jobs in Canada of which 83% found jobs in their field of experience. Nearly a third of non Express Entry candidates found themselves having to take lower-skilled jobs, however, within just one year were able to find higher-skilled higher-paying jobs. Working towards your dream job is an admirable trait and a great way to promote self-confidence and optimism.
2. Grieve Your Loss
Leaving the only life that you’ve known behind can be a very traumatic experience, not unlike the emotions felt when grieving a loss. Allow yourself to feel these emotions and in doing so you will eventually allow yourself to embrace all the opportunities that lie ahead of you in Canada.
3. Support Network
There are various informal support networks for newcomers in Canada, whether you find one that supports your religious affiliations, culture, country or basic interest. In Canada, there will be one or more groups that you will be able to take solace in and find the support that you need. Canada is a large country and can feel very lonely at times, but it is also one of the most welcoming countries globally and it is very rare that you will come across a Canadian that won’t welcome you into their community.
4. Ask for Help
There is no shame in asking for help if you need it and your community will be more than willing to help you with anything that you may need. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but shows the ability to recognize when you need help and allow others to help you. For help finding the assistance you need, the Government website has this helpful tool that will give you a list of newcomer service near you.
5. Remember. You Are Not Alone
Almost a third of Canada’s population is foreign-born, which means that almost a third of the population has experienced what you are going through right now and more than likely they will not only be able to help you but will also be able to give you advice to help make the transition just a little bit easier.
If you are immigrating from a country that has a warmer climate and is moving to colder regions with more extreme temperatures, like Nova Scotia, do yourself a favour and get yourself some Vitamin D. You will be receiving less sunshine which could lead to feelings of depression. Trust us, it will be money well spent.
Join the Canadian Community
Starting a new life in an unfamiliar country, no matter whether it offers a better life can be extremely tough. But just as you don’t have to go through the challenges of integrating into Canadian culture alone, you don’t have to worry about tackling the Canadian immigration system on your own either.
Applying for a visa can be time-consuming and difficult to understand. With strict deadlines, procedures and requirements, it can be easy to make a mistake that could cost you your chance to get a working holiday visa to travel and work in Canada. But with the guidance and assistance of one of our knowledgeable Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC’s), who are accredited by the ICCRC the process will be stress-free.
When you choose to use our expert and government trusted service you will get:
- An in-depth eligibility assessment
- Guidance on which of 100+ immigration programs and visas to choose from;
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- Support through every step of the application process.
All you have to do is fill out our application form to receive your eligibility assessment and let us take care of the rest. It’s just that simple! Your Canadian journey starts here.
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