Culture, context and mental health of Somali refugees

A primer for staff working in mental health and psychosocial support programme

This review provides information about the sociocultural background and contextual aspects of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of the Somali population. It is primarily written for humanitarian staff involved in providing mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to Somali people who have been affected by displacement, both within Somalia as well as countries hosting Somalia refugees, particularly within neighbouring African countries. The content of this review should assist MHPSS workers in the design and delivery of interventions to promote mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. It may also be relevant for other humanitarian professionals working with Somalis, and for mental health professionals working with Somalis in resettlement countries.

Source: Document – Culture, context and mental health of Somali refugees

Woori Maum: Korean Canadian Mental Health Association

Woori Maum Toronto is a Korean Canadian community organization based in Toronto, Ontario. Our aim is to reduce mental illness stigma and to enhance mental health and wellbeing.

Source: Information — Woori Maum

We have adapted the Fred Victor (prev. CRCT) booklet, Navigating Mental Health Services in Toronto: A Guide for Newcomer Communities, to specifically address Korean Canadians living in the Greater Toronto Area. This booklet provides current information all about mental health problems – types of mental illnesses, experiences, stigma, treatment, and more. Understanding and experiencing mental health problems can be scary and difficult, and being an immigrant or newcomer to Canada can mean greater obstacles to resources and recovery. We hope this booklet with directory helps Korean Canadians know more about mental health issues as well as reduce barriers to available resources throughout the GTA.

The directory, included at the back of the booklet, is an exhaustive list of Korean-speaking mental health professionals and family doctors who can help those experiencing mental health problems and their family members.

This project was made possible by the funding from The Love Toronto Project of Mil Al Church.

BOOKLET

Understanding Mental Health Problems & Access to Treatment for Korean Canadians | 정신 질환과 치료에 관해 알아보기

English | 영어 (PDF)
Korean | 한국어 (PDF)

BROCHURE

English | 영어 (PDF)
Korean | 한국어 (PDF)

Catalyst – October 2016 – Case for Diversity Paints Opportunity for Service Improvement | Mental Health Commission of Canada

Source: Catalyst – October 2016 – Case for Diversity Paints Opportunity for Service Improvement | Mental Health Commission of Canada

MHCC Backs Research in Case for Diversity with an Investment in Refugee Mental Health

They say timing is everything. This is certainly true in the case of prescient policy work undertaken by the Mental Health Commission of Canada to improve mental health services and supports by and for immigrants, refugees, ethno-cultural and racialized (IRER) populations.

“We began our work to understand the disparity in service usage before the Syrian refugee crisis, and before recent revisions to Canada’s immigration policy,” says Ed Mantler, MHCC Vice-President of Programs and Priorities. “We have long understood this population to be underserved, and now we really have the momentum to push forward with the case for service improvement.”

Mantler is referring to the MHCC’s Case for Diversity Project, which began in 2014, building on a significant prior research paper.

Led by Drs. Kwame McKenzie and Branka Agic, this seminal work paints an up-to-date portrait of the demography of diversity in Canada, promising practices, and an economic analysis.

“To ensure fair access to mental health services for IRER populations, equity must become part of health system planning, including setting targets and identifying those responsible for leading change,” says Dr. Kwame McKenzie, co-principal investigator on the project and Director of Health Equity at CAMH. “As a country with a diverse population and an increasingly knowledge-based economy, the mental health of all of Canada’s residents is an important investment and we cannot afford to leave anyone behind.”

MHCC President and CEO Louise Bradley echoes Dr. McKenzie’s perspective. “We can now point to specific numbers that tell us we aren’t investing enough in the mental wellness of a vulnerable population,” says Bradley. “By replicating promising practices, we can make smart, targeted investments that are likely to have the greatest impact. And we are prepared to back this research with an investment of our own.”

At the launch event of the Case for Diversity, Bradley announced that the MHCC will provide funding to the Refugee Mental Health Project, an evidence-informed online course – available in English and French – to help settlement, social and health service providers build knowledge and skills around the needs of refugees.

Here’s Why Black People in Canada Are Healthier Than Those in the U.S. | TakePart

Researchers say it doesn’t have to do with socioeconomic status or Canada’s health care system.

Researchers are finding that racism and a legacy of American slavery may play an even bigger role in health disparities, a revelation that is being unearthed by diving deep into numbers that compare the health of America’s black population with that of blacks in a country where the African slave trade wasn’t significant: Canada.

Chantel Ramraj, a researcher at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, set out to compare the differences between the health of blacks and whites in Canada and the U.S. The study, published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, found that black Canadians fare better than black Americans, even after controlling for socioeconomic factors and bad health behaviors. Researchers believe that means there must be other reasons why disparities exist between the two countries, such as the biological legacy of slavery and ongoing systemic racism in America.

 

Source: Here’s Why Black People in Canada Are Healthier Than Those in the U.S. | TakePart

Improving Cultural Competence to Reduce Health Disparities

Systematic Review of Cultural Competence Research Now Available

This report by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reviews studies of interventions to improve culturally appropriate health care for people with disabilities; lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender populations; and racial/ethnic minority populations found that none examined cultural competence’s impact on disparities. Although many of the interventions studies were innovative, poor study quality prevented conclusions on whether they worked.

To download click here:  Comparative Effectiveness Review: Improving Cultural Competence to Reduce Disparities

You may also be interested in “Taking Steps Toward Cultural Competence,” a fact sheet from The SHARE Approach, a shared decision making toolkit.

 

CBC Ideas on Cultural Psychiatry

Early in the twentieth century German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin travelled to Indonesia to see how mental illnesses there compared to what he knew back home. Transcultural psychiatry was born. Today McGill University is a world leader in the research and practice of a branch of psychiatry with links to anthropology, cultural studies and family therapy. David Gutnick steps into a world where treatment relies less on medication and more on talk and understanding.

Source: Like I Was Talking to Myself in the Mirror – Home | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio

Hope Within Horror: Marina Nemat – Home | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio

When Marina Nemat was 16 and living in Tehran, she was arrested at gunpoint and sentenced to life in Iran’s most notorious prison, where she was repeatedly tortured and assaulted. She now lives just north of Toronto, and argues that the best way to combat evil in the world is through small acts of kindness. She delivered the 2016 International Issues Discussion series lecture at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Source: Hope Within Horror: Marina Nemat – Home | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio

Caring for a newly arrived Syrian refugee family

This practice article discusses preventive primary care for a newly arrived Syrian refugee family. The recommendations for preventive interventions have been adapted for newly arriving asymptomatic Syrian refugees from the Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health (CCIRH) guidelines2 and other guidelines.  They take into account the findings of European surveillance reports, as Europe has received nearly 600 000 Syrian refugees in the past year alone. See: www.cmaj.ca/site/misc/caring-for-a-newly-arrived-syrian-refugee-family-cmaj.151422.xhtml

 

Guide for Intercultural Relations in Mental Health | CMHA Montréal

The Guide for Intercultural Relations in Mental Health is a reference for health and social service workers, whether specialized in mental health or not, providing support and prevention services for immigrants. The Guide provides reflections in issues of intervention in intercultural contexts as well as pointers for understanding difficulties related to migration and distinguishing adaptation problems from psychological distress seen with more severe mental health problems.  It presents concrete ways to improve your practice  to help the people you see everyday. As well, the Guide provides a directory of useful resources.

>>> Read the Table of contents

>>> Read an excerpt

Source: Guide des Relations interculturelles en santé mentale | ACSM Montréal

Culture, Context and the Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing of Syrians

A Review for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Staff Working with Syrians Affected by Armed Conflict

This report, prepared for UNHCR in 2015, provides information on the sociocultural background of the Syrian population as well as cultural aspects of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing relevant to care and support. it is based on an extensive review of the available literature on mental health and psychosocial support, within the context of the current armed conflict in Syria.

2015_Culture_mental-health_Syrians-FINAL