On behalf of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), Louise Bradley, President and CEO, made the following statement.
“Today, World Refugee Day, offers a moment to reflect on the extraordinary resilience of families and individuals forced to flee their homes in search of a safer, better future. As a country, we must do more than offer physical asylum – we have an obligation to safeguard the mental health of those who turn to us in their hour of need.
If we want our country to thrive, we must consider the needs of refugees in the context of their culture, background, language, religion and experiences. This includes the social determinants of health – the need for a home, a job and a friend. By focusing on mental health promotion and illness prevention – coupled with early intervention for the minority of people who need more intensive services – we will ease the transition for those arriving to Canada under arduous circumstances.
The evidence tells us that culture and colour blind approaches provide equally ineffective care to everyone. That is why the MHCC is proud to convene stakeholders to share knowledge about the mental health disparities experienced by refugees and to explore solutions to improve their access to mental health supports. To learn more read, Supporting the Mental Health of Refugees to Canada, and a further report on a roundtable that brought policymakers together with refugee mental health experts.
The MHCC is also a proud supporter of the Refugee Mental Health Project, an evidence-informed online course for settlement, social and health service providers to build knowledge and skills around the needs of refugees.”
ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION OF CANADA
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are collaborating with hundreds of partners to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to help people who live with mental health problems and illnesses lead meaningful and productive lives. Together we create change. The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada.
www.mentalhealthcommission.ca | strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca
Hélène Côté, Senior Communications Advisor, Public Affairs
Mental Health Commission of Canada