Project Spotlight: Indus Community Services

Boost Wellness of Transitional Aged Youth

Better understanding and addressing the specific mental and emotional needs facing newcomer youth and international students, arising from the COVID-19 pandemic


Newcomer, refugee youth and international students in Peel Region’s South Asian communities.



To equip families to better support their youth dealing with mental and emotional health challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic


  • Culturally responsive mental health promotion curriculum for youth delivered through psychoeducational-social groups
  • Wrap-around support model



  • Community
  • Online
  • Clinical

Implementation sites

  • Peel Region
  • Virtual


  • COVID-19 amplified health inequities among marginalized populations
  • Racialized and newcomer youth were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic
  • Youth were being left behind in education, economic opportunity, health and wellbeing


In the words of the project team members

“This pandemic not only magnified the health inequities, it also highlighted a silent mental health crisis that was going on in our community. We felt that it was time to break the silence by starting a conversation about mental health, mental health struggles and learn ways to improve them. My biggest hope is to break the silence.”

Key protective factors

  • Social and emotional skills
  • Cultural connectedness and belonging
  • Positive family relationships
  • Supportive relationships in the community
  • Social networks

Key approaches

  • Culturally safe/informed
  • Trauma-informed