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

Mental health medication information in Chinese (Med Ed)

in this Cantonese video, Dr. Kenneth Fung discusses the Chinese version of Med Ed, a booklet which helps teenagers with mental health issues to understand their medication and its side effects and to help them track their side effects, symptoms and changing dosage.

The first of its kind, Med Ed is for people who are thinking about or are already taking medications for mental illness or related symptoms. It includes answers to common and less common questions about these medications as well as checklists and other tools to make tracking symptoms, activities, and side effects easy. Brief information is provided about medications known as antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety and sleep medications, stimulants, and mood stabilizers. There are tools to help keep track of the medications, by name, dose, and directions, and a glossary to help understand the many different terms.

It was originally developed, in English and French, by Drs. Murphy, Gardner, and Kutcher of Dalhousie University in collaboration with the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO. In collaboration with the Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre at McGill University, versions of Med Ed have been developed in Arabic and Chinese.

Med Ed is available on this website in English, French, Arabic and Simplified Chinese.

Health considerations in the Syrian refugee resettlement process in Canada


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

Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre and Bell Let’s Talk

The Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre (www.multiculturalmentalhealth.ca) provides information and tools for clinicians in many languages including Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish and Farsi. Culturally sensitive care is important as different cultures have different attitudes toward mental health. The support from Bell Let’s Talk allows the MMHRC to increase accessibility to mental health care and information for ordinary people in the community who might not be comfortable in English or French.

Bell Let’s Talk donation to increase mental health information for multicultural communities

The Montreal Neurological Institute has received a $250,000 donation from Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign to provide online mental health resources for multicultural communities. The donation will fund a three-year project to expand language options and content in Mandarin, Farsi, Arabic and other languages. Dr. Laurence Kirmayer discusses the importance of providing mental health information in a client’s mother tongue. CTV News clip January 18, 2017.

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.


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

English | 영어 (PDF)
Korean | 한국어 (PDF)


English | 영어 (PDF)
Korean | 한국어 (PDF)