Mental health report focuses on multicultural groups

CALGARY, March 15 – Statistics Canada is predicting that 1 in 3 Canadians will belong to a visible minority by 2031. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has released a report addressing the needs of multicultural, immigrant and refugee groups. The study is part of its mandate to improve mental healthcare across all areas of Canadian society.

“These groups face unique challenges and are more exposed to factors that promote mental health problems and illnesses,” says Steve Lurie, Chair of the Commission’s Service Systems Advisory Committee.The document, titled ‘Improving Mental Health Services for Immigrant, Refugee, Ethno-cultural and Racialized (IRER) Groups,’ outlines factors that policy makers and service providers may want to consider when working to improve mental health services for these groups.

“Migration, discrimination, language barriers and lack of awareness of services have an impact on mental health,” says Lurie. “Trust in services, cultural competence, targeted health promotion, and stigma can all delay access to treatment.”

The 16 recommendations in the report are firmly rooted in the goals of the Mental Health Strategy for Canada. The recommendations fit into one of three main areas, including:

– Better coordination of policy, knowledge and accountability

– The Involvement of communities, families, and people with lived
experience

– More appropriate and improved services

The report was prepared by the Diversity Task Group, a subcommittee of the Commission’s Service Systems Advisory Group. For more details on the recommendations, see the attached backgrounder.

To read the full report click here!

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