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Working with Immigrants, Refugees, Ethno-Cultural and Racialized (IRER) Communities


Research shows that immigrants, refugees, ethno-cultural and racialized groups have increased rates of illnesses, poorer access to care and care outcomes, and poorer satisfaction with services. The proportion of minority, racialized groups in Canada has increased dramatically over the last few decades, largely due to changing patterns in the origins of immigrants from regions other than Europe. According to the 2011 Canadian National Household Survey, over 20% of the population is foreign-born. The number of reported ethnic groups has exceeded two hundred (Statistics Canada). Improving mental health and addiction services and outcomes for these groups is a common challenge.

This section provides quick access to online information, tools and resources to aid your work with immigrants, refugees and members of ethno-cultural or racialized groups who have mental health and/or substance use problems.


Care and Service Improvement

Culturally adapted cognitive-behavioural (CBT) therapy manuals featuring such practices as proactive outreach, cultural safety and timely and relevant cultural modifications to CBT. Available for English-Speaking and French-Creole Speaking people from the Caribbean, and Spanish Speaking People of Latin American Origins.

Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre
This site provides resources to improve the delivery of mental health service to Canada's diverse populaton.

World Psychiatric Association (WPA) guidance on mental health and mental health care in migrants (Bhugra et al., 2010)
This guide provides a review of currently-available evidence on mental health problems in migrants and presents advice to clinicians and policy makers on how to provide migrants with appropriate and accessible mental health services.

Improving mental health services for immigrant, refugee, ethno-cultural and racialized groups
This report outlines the issues that policy makers, health planners and service providers across Canada may find beneficial to consider when embarking on strategies to improve mental health services for IRER groups. Summary report also available in French, Cantonese and Punjabi.

Cultural Competence E-Learning Modules Series
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) developed a series of 15 open-access e-learning modules to increase the accessibility to and dissemination of cultural competence educational resources.

Refugee Mental Health Project
Following up on the results of the RMHP study, this project offers an online tutorial, CoP and toolkit for health care providers and settlement workers on addressing refugee mental health issues.

Embracing Cultural Competence in the Mental Health and Addiction System
This paper explores the relevance of culturally competent services in an increasingly diverse and multicultural Canada.

Working with Immigrant Women: Issues and Strategies for Mental Health Professionals
This publication explores how multiple identities such as age, race, gender and class intersect to influence immigrant women's mental health.

Psychiatric Services for Black and Minority Ethnic Older People
This document looks at the mental health needs of Black and minority ethnic older people in the UK and the psychiatric services offered to this group.

Culture Counts: A Roadmap to Health Promotion
This Guide outlines best practices for developing health promotion initiatives in mental health and substance use for ethnocultural communities.

Translation and Adaptation of Instruments
WHO outlines the process that should be used to achieve different language versions of an English instrument.

Improving Health Equity through Language Access: A Model for integrated Language Services throughout the Toronto Central LHIN This innovative model for health care interpretation services outlines how to standardize the role of interpreters. It develops strategies to address language access issues in a variety of health care situations, identify optimal service modalities and recommend the integrated use of a shared technology solution and shared language in human resources.

Let's Talk: Interpretation Toolkit for Service Providers Working with Immigrants in Ontario This electronic "toolkit" is an electronic repository of tools, resources and information related to interpretation for people with limited English language proficiency. Let's Talk has been developed for use by front line staff and managers working in organizations across the human services. While much of the content is generic there are resources and tools that will be particularly relevant for those working in the health and mental health, education, community legal, social services and settlemet sectors.


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Screening, Assessment and Diagnosis

Mental Health Instruments in non-English Languages Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit provides access to mental health instruments that have been translated into multiple languages.

Assessment and Diagnostic Scales Available in Multiple Languages
This site provides access to screening tools for common mental disorders in multiple languages.

Cultural Formulation Guidelines
These guidelines are intended to aid health professionals in gathering culturally-relevant clinical information in a relatively standardized way.

Common Mental Health Problems in Immigrants and Refugees
This paper outlines risk factors and strategies in approaching mental health assessment and to prevention and treatment of common mental health problems for immigrants in primary care.


Multilingual Resources for Clients and Family Members

CAMH Mental Health and Addictions Resources in Multiple Languages
CAMH provides multi-language information on mental health and addiction to people for whom English is not a first language and professionals who work with clients from culturally and linguistically diverse background.

QTMHC Multilingual Brochures
Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre has developed brochures for use by mental health professionals when dealing with clients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

CMHA-Edmonton Multilingual Brochures
The Canadian Mental Health Association Edmonton branch provides brochures for clients and their family members in a number of different languages on topics ranging from alcohol and drug problems to preventing youth suicide.

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