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Multicultural groups face unique mental health challenges

By Workplace Staff

Developing mental health services that meet the needs of multi-cultural, immigrant and refugee groups is one of the key challenges being addressed in Canada. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has released a report addressing the needs of these groups and will be presenting the findings at the 2010 Transcultural Health Conference taking place at the Hyatt, Calgary, May 2-3 2010.

Multicultural groups face unique challenges and are more exposed to factors that promote mental health problems and illnesses. Migration, discrimination, language barriers and lack of awareness of services can all have an impact on mental health. This is an important issue to highlight during Mental Health Week (May 3-9) given that Statistics Canada predicts 1 in 3 Canadians will belong to a visible minority by 2031.

The report, 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.

The report was prepared by the Commission's Service Systems Advisory Committee and the Social Equity and Health Research department of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Ontario.

To read the report please visit

The MHCC is a non-profit organization created to focus national attention on mental health issues. It is funded by the federal government but operates at arm's length from all levels of government. The Commission's objective is to enhance the health and social outcomes for Canadians living with mental health problems and illnesses. To learn more, visit

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