About the Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Project (IRMHP)

The IRMHP is a training and capacity-building project funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. It provides online training, tools and resources to settlement, social and health service providers across Canada to support their work with newly-arrived immigrants and refugees.

 

The IRMHP encourages individuals to participate in the project by:

1.       adding your name to our course sign-up list. we will notify you once course registration is open, as spots are limited. The Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health online course is a free, self-directed, interactive training providing an overview of immigrant and refugee mental health. It provides sample tools, evidence-based strategies and interventions, and innovative practices from across Canada to help offer appropriate services and supports to newcomer client populations. The course will launch fall 2018.

2.       joining the IRMHP community of practice (CoP) discussion board or subscribe to the IRMHP newsletter. These virtual communities allow you to stay up-to-date on events and resources in the sector, network with service providers across Canada, and share promising practices.

3.      participating in the IRMHP monthly webinars, which are open to anyone working with newcomers. They are on a range of topics based on the needs and interests identified by service providers, and offer practical and actionable strategies or resources to support or treat the mental health needs of immigrants and refugees.

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No One Is Illegal – Vancouver » Blog Archive » Border Rights for Refugees: A multilingual guide

Source: No One Is Illegal – Vancouver » Blog Archive » Border Rights for Refugees: A multilingual guide

Thousands of refugees are crossing the Canada-U.S. border, many fleeing escalated sociopolitical, white supremacist, misogynist violence and I.C.E raids in the U.S.

In the first two months of this year, approximately 2000 refugee claims were filed at land ports of entry along the Canadian border. In Quebec alone there are six times more land-border refugee claims than in the same period last year. RCMP have intercepted or arrested (not yet charged) 1,134 refugees – nearly half as many asylum seekers in three months as all of the previous year.

Hundreds have been forced to cross irregularly under dangerous and life-threatening circumstances. People who have contacted us and our networks are primarily from Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Djibouti, Ghana, Nigeria, and Mexico.

The Canadian government and corporate media’s rhetoric about ‘welcoming refugees’ is misleading. There are many discriminatory and unjust barriers, such as the Safe Third Country Agreement that the Canadian government refuses to rescind, and a difficult legal system for refugees to navigate if coming through the U.S. This guide is to better inform and support those making the difficult decision to cross yet another colonial border.

The guide is produced by No One Is Illegal and the Immigration Legal Committee of the Law Union of Ontario. Supported by the African-Canadian Legal Clinic.

The Migration and Mental Health Database

Compiled by a scientific committee of international academics in collaboration with the Documentation Center of the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies / National Center of Competence in Research –The Migration-Mobility Nexus (NCCR) at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), the ‘Migration and Mental Health’ database is a comprehensive collection of academic resources which focuses specifically on the topic of migration and mental health.

To understand mental health, we draw on the definition provided by the World Health Organization whereby: ‘Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’ As such, it incorporates a significant consideration of the social, cultural, political and economic environment. We are specifically interested in focusing on the mental health issues related to vulnerable populations and forced migration – the coerced movement of a person or persons away from their home or home region – including undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and refugee populations.

The database uses bibliographic research technologies to identify new publications with the selection of keyword attributions ensured by an international scientific committee of expert academics in the field. The project consists of a fully searchable online version of the bibliography of scientific publications from the year 2000 to the present, with systematic and continual updates from September 2016. It thus aims to provide a free major hub for those concerned about issues of mental health among migrant populations. As such, it is open to those in an academic field (researchers, teachers, students, lecturers), practitioners working clinically with this populations who would like to update their academic knowledge as well as interested citizens. All are warmly invited to add to this collaborative project by submitting articles to the scientific committee.

Source: About – Migration and Mental Health

What’s So Special about Canada? Understanding the Resilience of Immigration and Multiculturalism | migrationpolicy.org

Canada has in recent decades occupied a privileged place among the world’s top immigrant-receiving countries. Despite weathering many of the same economic and political challenges that have buffeted support for immigration in other countries—from recession to threats of terrorism—Canada has managed to maintain a consistently positive public consensus around its immigration system.

While Canada has a long history of immigration, since the 1980s policies governing new arrivals have, to a large degree, been tied to demographic and economic considerations. Permanent residents admitted for economic reasons comprised roughly 60 percent of all admissions to Canada over the past five years. Polls suggest that this is in line with public preferences: in a 2011 survey, for example, 69 percent of Canadians thought immigration policy should prioritize nationally relevant education and skills. Canada’s geographic isolation from global conflicts or extreme poverty has safeguarded its selection system from mass arrivals or large-scale unauthorized flows. Furthermore, the diversity of immigrant arrivals to Canada—in  2014, new permanent residents came from nearly 200 countries—has ensured that any conception of “the immigrant” is not reduced to one ethnic, racial, or religious identity.

Canadian attitudes sympathetic to immigration and globalized cultural diversity took time—and, arguably, political will—to develop. This Transatlantic Council on Migration report explores the evolution of Canada’s apparently unique attitude toward immigration and diversity by presenting a snapshot of the country’s public opinion polling on immigration, and discussing the matrix of social policies, institutions, and institutional practices that have driven this positive consensus.

Source: What’s So Special about Canada? Understanding the Resilience of Immigration and Multiculturalism | migrationpolicy.org

Digital Humanitarianism: How Tech Entrepreneurs Are Supporting Refugee Integration | migrationpolicy.org

Tech communities in Europe and North America have been spurred into action by the refugee crisis, developing apps and other tools that can be used along the journey, immediately upon arrival, and for longer-term integration into the host society. This report maps several types of emerging tools and considers how policymakers responsible for refugee integration might play a more active role in supporting the most promising.

Source: Digital Humanitarianism: How Tech Entrepreneurs Are Supporting Refugee Integration | migrationpolicy.org

Health considerations in the Syrian refugee resettlement process in Canada

Abstract

Canada has responded to the humanitarian emergency in Syria by committing to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees by early 2016. This has been a complex undertaking which required coordination between international organizations, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and federal government departments, including Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Within and across Canada, this initiative has also required the collaboration of provincial and municipal governments, non-governmental organizations and volunteers, including private sponsors, to enable planning for the transition of Syrian refugees into a new life in Canada.

In planning for the reception of Syrian refugees, government agencies did not anticipate major infectious disease threats. However, early findings from Europe and the experience of health care providers who serve other refugee populations suggested that this population may have other unmet health needs and untreated conditions, due to their experience of displacement over the past three to four years. With this in mind, a great deal of planning has been undertaken to address potential challenges to public health. Social services providers and medical interpreters have been enlisted to help Syrians access the health care system and explain their needs. Communities of practice within Canada have responded, both in providing care and in developing and updating tools and resources to support a culturally sensitive and evidence-based approach to screening and meeting the health needs of the Syrian refugees.  Read Article