Supporting and Promoting Mental Health in OLMCs (Official Language Minority Communities) in Quebec

Community Health and Social Services Network

Supporting and Promoting Mental Health in OLMCs (Official Language Minority Communities) in Quebec

Evidence indicates that the COVID 19 pandemic has had increased negative effects on the mental health of English-speakers in the province of Quebec (over 1 million population) versus the majority French-speaking population.  This is also worrisome when access to mental health supports and services offered in English are difficult to obtain.  To address this issue, the Public Health Agency of Canada is funding the  Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) to supports 46 community-based projects across the province of Quebec.  The primary goal of these projects is to extend mental health promotion programs and support to the English-speaking population most affected by the COVID 19 pandemic.  Some of the English-speaking groups being reached are youth; seniors; low-income families; those living in rural and isolated regions and members of BIPOC communities. These projects are linked together under a Community of Practice (COP) approach to maximize knowledge exchange and support. The CHSSN will also be developing a mental health promotion resource toolkit.

Lead organization: Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN)

Expanding mental health promotion programming to support the English-speaking population in Quebec

WHO

Members of the English-speaking population in Quebec, especially:

  • Seniors and caregivers
  • Children, youth, and families
  • BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color)/ethnocultural groups
  • Remote or rural communities
  • Low-income families and individuals

Service providers and organizations providing mental health services and support to the English-speaking population in Quebec

WHAT

Objectives

  • Promote mental health in vulnerable official language minority communities (OLMC) most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Strengthen and grow CHSSN’s network of service providers, as well as enhance the capacity of service providers to adapt resources and programs.
  • Build evidence about effective interventions to promote mental health and prevent mental illness within OLMCs.

HOW

CHSSN is supporting 46 community-based projects across the province through:

  1. Offering a community of practice, additional training activities, knowledge hub sessions, workshops, and conferences to facilitate knowledge exchange and support
  2. Adapting resources, tools, and information campaigns to support priority populations with evidence-based programs and resources
  3. Curating evidence about effective interventions through participatory action research and documenting promising practices
  4. Creating and disseminating a mental health promotion resource toolkit

WHERE

Settings

  • Community

Implementation sites

  • 46 English-speaking organizations across Quebec

WHY

  • English-speaking communities reported higher rates of mental health problems throughout the pandemic.
  • There is an increased demand for mental health services and resources among English-speaking communities during the pandemic, especially among priority populations.
  • The cost and availability of mental health supports in English make them very difficult to access for English-speaking communities in Quebec.

 

In the words of the project team members

“Language is probably one of the most important aspects of receiving services for mental health. Being able to communicate your very personal, and sometimes painful emotional experiences can be very challenging in a second language.”

Key protective factors

  • Access to mental health services and support
  • Community networks and partnerships
  • Supportive relationships in the community
  • Equity
  • Valuing diversity

Key approaches

  • Trauma-informed
  • Culturally safe
  • Partnerships and communities of practice
  • Evidence-informed

 


Public Health Agency of Canada news release