APA's On Tour

Immigrant Mental Health

Toronto is considered one of the most multicultural cities in the world and is home to a huge immigrant population. Immigrants bring many strengths and assets that make the city vibrant and prosperous. However, these newcomers often face challenges to health, especially mental health as they resettle in a new country and embark on their journey towards integration in the society.

Event Summary:

On Saturday May 16, 2015, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in collaboration with CAMH's Health Equity office held the APA's On Tour Program on Immigrant Mental Health. The program sought to address how best to promote positive mental health and health equity for immigrant refugee and ethnoracial populations. With a key note address delivered by CAMH's Dr. Kwame McKenzie and presentations by Dr. Branka Agic of CAMH, Dr. Kenneth Fung of the Toronto Western Hospital, Mr Baldev Mutta of Punjabi Community Health Services, Dr. Lisa Andermann and Mr. Gesland Gnanapragasam of Mount Sinai Hospital and Ms. Aseefa Sarang of Across Boundaries, the program showcased a broad range of perspectives on the mental health needs of immigrant refugee and ethnoracial populations. The event was sold out and attracted professionals from all aspects of the mental health system including academics, direct service providers, senior executives, and policy makers from over 50 different organizations.

The program addressed various domains of immigrant mental health. Dr. Kwame McKenzie initiated the program with an overview of immigrant mental health in Canada and highlighting some initiatives aimed at addressing key issues. Dr. Branka Agic followed with an analysis of alcohol use and drinking behavior of immigrants. Dr. Kenneth Fung closed the presentation segment by discussing how culturally adapted mental health therapies can greatly improve service effectiveness. The event closed off with an engaging panel discussion which included brief presentations on community based mental health services for South Asians, Assertive Community Treatment team involvement with diverse groups, and community based services for racialised populations. Audience members found the program to be engaging and expressed a deep appreciation for having the opportunity to discuss key issues relating to immigrant mental health.


  • Dr. Ranna Parekh
  • Dr. Kwame McKenzie
  • Dr. Branka Agic
  • Dr. Kenneth Fung
  • Mr. Baldev Mutta
  • Dr. Lisa Andermann & Mr. Gesland Gnanapragasam
  • Ms. Aseefa Sarang

APA Psychiatric News Article
"Psychiatrists want to do more for Toronto's Growing Immigrant Population"

Event Images

Dr. McKenzie at APA on Tour Event

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Panel Discussion at APA on Tour Event

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