Immigration and Resettlement Policy

Immigrant Mental Health – La santé mentale des immigrants
This collection of articles illustrates a broad spectrum of knowledge on migrant mental health, building and assessing evidence from a variety of sources: clinical practice, community-based research, population surveys and health surveillance. The articles address a range of conceptual, methodological and measurement issues and identify key data and research gaps. Several articles discuss the challenges of defining and operationalizing key concepts and dimensions of mental health and service delivery, including the concept of “mental health” itself. There are articles in English and French.

Racism as a Determinant of Immigrant Health
This policy brief proposes adding racism to the Canadian Population Health framework as an additional determinant of health (DOH).

Health Literacy and Immigrant Populations
This document prepared by Dr. Laura Simich for Public Health Agency of Canada, addresses the issue of health literacy as it pertains to immigrant health and mental health. As stated in the document and using the definition of Rootman et al., (2007), health literacy is knowing how to obtain, understand and use health information. The International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS), was used to test 23,000 Canadians producing results which showed that the lower one’s health literacy, the higher the probability of negative health outcomes. These results were even more pronounced for the immigrant population. The particular stressors faced by immigrants such as: discrimination; language barriers; resettlement issues; and, cultural variations have a great impact upon the mental health of immigrants. Recommendations for improving immigrant health literacy are included.

NORFACE Research Programme on Migration
This multinational research programme is funded by the research councils of several countries and will run from 2009-2013. The total funding for the programme is €28 million. The aim of the programme is to create an academic body of knowledge which will better inform our understanding in issues of migration. There are three thematic areas: Migration, Integration, and, Cohesion and Conflict.  Information and description on current projects are also available as well as published discussion papers.  For example:

Immigrant Mental Health Policy Brief
This policy brief was funded by Strategic Initiatives and Innovations Directorate (SIID) of the Public Health Agency of Canada, and prepared by professor Khanlou of York University, Canada, in March of 2009.  In the words of the author, the document ” addresses the mental health of migrant populations in Canada. First, a brief contextual overview (demographic statistics) is provided. This is followed by definitions of mental health, social determinants of mental health, and mental health promotion. Findings from the literature review are considered next using a systems approach. Drawing from empirical evidence, policy implications are then presented. The policy brief is complemented with an extensive bibliography and a selected annotated bibliography”. The document is comprehensive and also includes some identified best practices.