Newcomer Mental Health Matters: Bridging Gaps in Services

Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies

Newcomer Mental Health Matters: Bridging Gaps in Services

 

Increasing understanding of mental health needs and address gaps in mental health services among newcomer communities in Alberta

This project aims to increase understanding of the mental health needs of newcomers including refugee communities in Alberta to address gaps in mental health services. This will beis achieved with the support of project partners CMHA-Edmonton, Distress Centre Calgary, and 211 Alberta, through the creation and delivery of mental health-related training courses and the creation of a mental health support audit tool. This tool that will allow settlement and integration agencies to assess the strengths and gaps in their capacities to support the mental health needs of their newcomer clients. Lastly, the program will promote mental health resources and referrals for coordinated service delivery, including an upgrade to the existing database hosted at 211 Alberta.

WHO

Newcomer-serving support agencies

WHAT

Objectives

  • Increase understanding of available mental health support options for newcomers
  • Assess and build capacity within support agencies to address the mental health needs of their newcomer clients
  • Improve mental health service delivery by developing and expanding a coordinated referral system

HOW

  • Design a mental health supports audit tool that will allow newcomer-serving agencies to assess their capacity to support the mental health of their clients
  • Create and deliver mental health-related training courses to build capacity within agencies
  • Develop a living tool that outlines and promotes mental health resources and referrals for coordinated service delivery, including an upgrade to the existing database hosted at 211 Alberta

WHERE

Settings

  • Online

Implementation sites

  • Alberta

WHY

  • The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated ongoing mental health vulnerabilities in newcomer communities through significant underemployment, heavy participation in front-line work, and dense multi-generational housing
  • Support for the mental health of newcomers is impacted by gaps in capacity and service delivery among newcomer-serving agencies

Key protective factors

  • Self-esteem
  • Positive body image
  • School connectedness
  • Physical activity
  • Nutrition

Key approaches

  • Service delivery coordination

 

Website

aaisa.ca

Facebook

AAISAconnection

Linkedin

aaisaconnection