E-Library : Canadian Women’s Health Network

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The E-Library of the the Canadian Women’s Health Network is a comprehensive bilingual collection of women’s health publications and resources including resources on multicultural health and mental health. The health database gives access to over 11,000 documents, reviews, projects and organizations covering a wide range of information on women’s health and women’s lives.

You can access the library at:


Cultural Humility

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Cultural Humility is a 30-minute documentary by San Francisco State professor Vivian Chávez. The film tells stories of successes and challenges, and the road in between for those working to develop partnerships among community members, practitioners and academics. It encourages us to realize our power, privilege and prejudices, and be willing to accept that acquired education and credentials alone are insufficient to address social inequality.

Mental Health First Aid training for leaders from spiritual communities

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Building Bridges for Inclusive Care is an initiative being implemented by the Peel Service Collaborative which has dedicated itself to building bridges between the formal and informal (e.g. faith-based) mental health and addiction support systems in PeelThe Peel region has one of the highest religious affiliation rates in the Greater Toronto area and for many believers, their spiritual community is one of the first places to turn to for help.  In recognition of the informal support faith communities play in mental health care, community leaders are invited to take part in Mental Health First Aid training.
During the first week of March 2014, ten leaders from spiritual communities completed a 2-day course on Mental Health First Aid for adults who work with youth.  The leaders were a diverse group including Buddhist Venerables, a Muslim Imam, and Anglican priests, amongst others. To date, 33 leaders from faith communities have been trained through the 14-hour Mental Health First Aid program.  An initiative of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Mental Health First Aid program has been shown to reduce stigma, raise awareness, and provide tools to support and connect community members in need with formal mental health support.  
For more information on the Mental Health First Aid program offered throughout Canada, please visit: http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.ca/EN/Pages/default.aspx
If you are a leader from a spiritual community in the Peel region and you are interested in taking an upcoming course in Mental Health First Aid, offered at no cost, please contact Sarah Waldman at sarah.waldman@camh.ca or call 416-535-8501 X 36608


Vidéo : Ghayda Hassan – Lignes directrices pour guider le travail auprès des immigrants

Dr. Ghayda Hassan est professeur en psychologie à l’université the Québec à Montréal. Elle est l’une des auteurs des lignes directrices cliniques fondées sur des preuves pour les immigrants et les réfugiés. Dans cette entrevue elle aborde des lignes directrices pour la santé mentale des immigrants et des réfugiés au Canada. Elle explique les raisons pour lesquelles ces lignes directrices sont nécessaires. La santé des populations migrantes est souvent influencée par les mêmes aspects des déterminants sociaux que celui des autres Canadiens, mais aussi par d’autres déterminants en raison de leur statut de migrant. Ceux-ci incluent des obstacles à l’intégration sociale et économique, les barrières d’accès aux services sociaux et de santé en raison de la langue et les différences culturelles, le manque de réseaux sociaux. C’est important de reconnaitre ces obstacles peuvent également exercer une influence significative.

Racism and Discrimination

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Thinking about racism and discrimination should begin with the recognition that ‘race’ is a social construction with no solid foundation in biology. Hence, the term ‘race’ itself is deeply problematic and we should avoid reproducing the categories it is part of. In Canada, the term ‘racialized groups’ has gained favour because it draws attention to this social process of constructing race. Despite the negative effects of racism, individuals and communities may accept and elaborate racialized identities as part of a process of collective affirmation.

Knowing more about the Canadian history of discrimination is a crucial step (e.g. European colonization and the Indian Residential School system, the Komagatu Maru, the internment of Japanese in WWII, Africaville, etc.). Ultimately, learning to empathize with and, to some degree, understand the predicament of others is essential. This can be achieved in part through dialogue, role-playing and imagination but it is helpful to experience the predicament of being seen as a ‘visible minority’ — for example by living in a community where one’s appearance marks one off as « other’. Pedagogically, achieving this kind of (self)awareness requires a diverse community that works to maintain a safe space for mutual learning and encounter and the humility to recognize the limits of empathy and understanding. Friendships between people with different identities and experiences are essential for this journey.

White privilege is woven deeply into the fabric of Canadian society but racial thinking is part of other forces of marginalization and discrimination: of indigenous peoples, of non-European immigrant groups, of the religious or linguistic ‘Other’, and, increasingly, of refugees seeking safe haven.

Some references that may be useful:

Aspinall, P. (2005). Language matters: the vocabulary of racism in health care. J Health Serv Res Policy, 10(1), 57-59.

Brascoupé, S., & Waters, C. (2009). Cultural safety: Exploring the applicability of the concept of cultural safety to Aboriginal health and community wellness. Journal of Aboriginal Health, 7(1), 6-40.

Corneau, S., & Stergiopoulos, V. (2012). More than being against it: anti-racism and anti-oppression in mental health services. Transcult Psychiatry, 49(2), 261-282. doi: 10.1177/1363461512441594

Gravlee, C. C. (2009). How race becomes biology: embodiment of social inequality. Am J Phys Anthropol, 139(1), 47-57. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.20983

Crampton, P., Dowell, A., Parkin, C., & Thompson, C. (2003). Combating effects of racism through a cultural immersion medical education program. Acad Med, 78(6), 595-598.

Fredrickson, G. M. (2002). Racism: a short history. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Gunew, S. M. (2003). Haunted nations: the colonial dimensions of multiculturalisms. New York: Routledge.

Guzder, J., & Rousseau, C. (2013). A Diversity of Voices: The McGill ‘Working with Culture’ Seminars. Cult Med Psychiatry, 37(2), 347-364. doi: 10.1007/s11013-013-9316-0

Kirmayer, J.J. (2014). Critical psychiatry in Canada. In: R. Moodley & M. Ocampo (Eds.) Critical Psychiatry and Mental Health: Exploring the Work of Suman Fernando (pp. 170-181). New York: Routledge.

Neville, H., Spanierman, L., & Doan, B. T. (2006). Exploring the association between color-blind racial ideology and multicultural counseling competencies. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol, 12(2), 275-290. doi: 2006-05763-007 [pii] 10.1037/1099-9809.12.2.275

Noh, S., Kaspar, V., & Wickrama, K. A. (2007). Overt and subtle racial discrimination and mental health: preliminary findings for Korean immigrants. Am J Public Health, 97(7), 1269-1274. doi: AJPH.2005.085316 [pii] 10.2105/AJPH.2005.085316

 Noh, S., & Kaspar, V. (2003). Perceived discrimination and depression: moderating effects of coping, acculturation, and ethnic support. Am J Public Health, 93(2), 232-238.

 Ridley, C. R. (1995). Overcoming Unintentional Racism in Counseling and Therapy: A Practitioner’s Guide to Intentional Intervention. (Vol. 5). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.

 Satzewich, V. (2011). Racism in Canada. Don Mills: Oxford University Press.

 Saul, J. R. (2008). A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada. Toronto: Viking Canada.

 Smedley, A., & Smedley, B. D. (2005). Race as biology is fiction, racism as a social problem is real: Anthropological and historical perspectives on the social construction of race. Am Psychol, 60(1), 16-26. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.1.16

 Todd, N. R., Spanierman, L. B., & Aber, M. S. (2010). White Students Reflecting on Whiteness: Understanding Emotional Responses. J Divers High Educ, 3(2), 97-110. doi: 10.1037/a0019299

 As well, see some of the videos of talks from our Advanced Study Institute this year at: