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The Case for Diversity

Building the Case to Improve Mental Health Services for Immigrant, Refugee, Ethno-cultural and Racialized Populations

THIS REPORT INCLUDES:

  1. An examination of Canadian published research on immigrants, refugee, ethno-cultural and racialized peoples’ mental
    health in Canada.
  2. Promising practices to better serve IRER populations.
  3. An economic evaluation of IRER mental health service use.

It cannot be overstated that the conditions in which people live, work and grow, along with the wider set of forces and systems that influence people’s lives — known as the social determinants of health — have a tremendous impact on their mental health and well-being. These social determinants can increase or decrease a person’s risk of developing a mental health problem or illness, as well as affect access to appropriate and adequate mental health care. For a number of reasons, IRER populations are disproportionately affected by social determinants that undermine mental health and they face barriers to accessing the services that they need. As the evidence and promising practices featured in this report demonstrate, it is vital that Canada’s mental health system respond swiftly, adequately and collaboratively to the needs of IRER populations. With committed leadership, strategic alignment of services and increased resources, Canada’s mental health system can begin to meet the diverse needs of all people living in Canada.

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