The Mental Health Promotion in Immigrant and Refugee Serving Organizations Project originated as an innovation project (2018 - 2021) funded by Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through the Settlement Program Service Delivery Improvements Funding (SDI) Stream. As the lead organization on this project, OCASI has partnered with community organizations across three sectors (immigrant and refugee serving organizations, primary health, and community mental health) to carry out the project. The project aims to build the capacity of newcomer and refugee services to promote mental health and newcomer wellbeing and respond to mental health issues within their organizations.
During the first phase of the project (2018 - 2021), the Mental Health Promotion project completed extensive research and collaborative design to identify promising practices and developed a Mental Health Promotion Integrated Service Delivery Model. After developing the model, OCASI worked in collaboration with four agencies to implement, test and evaluate the model. The pilot sites included: Rexdale Women’s Centre, Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services, Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto, and The Neighbourhood Organization. To learn more about the first phase of the project check out the Knowledge Exchange Report 2020 and the Knowledge Exchange Report 2021.
Based on the success of the pilot projects, the Mental Health Promotion project continues to build the capacity of immigrant and refugee services to promote newcomer mental health and wellbeing and respond to mental health issues within organizations across Ontario.
Expected project outcomes include:
- enhanced engagement of new and existing partners
- improved organizational capacity to promote mental health and to respond to mental health issues
- the implementation of an innovative service delivery model of mental health promotion across the sector
The Mental Health Promotion project works closely with partner agencies to implement the Mental Health Promotion Integrated Service Delivery Model. The project provides needs assessment, consultation, peer leader trainings, and staff wellness activities, while working to disseminate and support the implementation of OCASI’s Mental Health Promotion Guidelines and Trauma and Violence Informed Approaches Guidelines for Immigrant and Refugee Serving Organizations.
The project also provides an online self-directed course on Trauma and Violence Informed Approaches (TVIA) to develop the capacity of settlement service providers to promote mental health and wellbeing, and respond to mental health issues. To learn more and register for OCASI online courses, please visit OCASI Learn At Work.
In collaboration with community partners and mental health experts, the Mental Health Promotion project hosts webinars and virtual training sessions on a variety of mental health topics, including: Mental Health Promotion, Self-care, Addressing Stigma of Mental Illness, Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health ASSIST, Crisis Intervention, Trauma-informed Care, Mental Health Works, and The Working Mind, among other mental health topics. Check out past events, webinars and trainings.
- Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services
- Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Ontario Division
- COSTI Immigrant Services
- Crossroads Refugee Clinic Women’s College Hospital
- Hong Fook Mental Health Association
- Newcomer Centre of Peel
- The Neighbourhood Organization
- Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto
- Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre
- Polycultural Immigrant Community Services
- Rexdale Women’s Centre
- Toronto South Local Immigration Partnership Project
- Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre
Let's stay connected
We will be hosting discussions and sharing resources through SettleNet. You are invited to join the conversation in the Mental Health Promotion in Immigrant and Refugee Serving Organizations group - a national online Community of Practice for the Settlement Sector where you can ask questions, engage in discussion and search for resources that serve your professional development needs.
Webinars & Trainings
- OCASI Mental Health Promotion Knowledge Exchange 2023
- Coping with Loss and Grief during the Pandemic
Mental Health and Trauma Informed Care for Service Providers
- Webinar 1: Overview on Mental Health – What It Is – Demystifying Mental Health
- Webinar 2: Mental Health and Stigma
- Webinar 3: Effective Support – Cultural Competence
- Webinar 4: Trauma Informed Care – What Does It Mean and How It Can Be Provided
- Webinar 5: Service Provider Self Care and Resiliency (Amid COVID-19)
- Webinar 6: Crisis Intervention – How to Mitigate Situations When Staff Face with Clients
Section 1 - Workplace Mental Health
- Increasing Capacity of Workers who have clients with mental health challenges
- Urban Poling for Mental Health Promotion
- Mood Walks
- Forest Therapy
- Workplace Stress and Self Care
- Mindfulness MBI in the Workplace
Section 2 - Mental Health Training & Trauma Informed Care
- MHW Training: Module 1 - Traumatic Stress and Compassion Fatigue
- MHW Training: Module 2 - Mood and Depression
- MHW Training: Module 3 - Stress and Anxiety
- MHW Training: Module 4 - Psychological Health and Anxiety
- Knowledge Exchange Conference Report 2020 [PDF]
- Graphic Recording 2020 [PDF]
- Knowledge Exchange Conference Report 2021 [PDF]
The Mental Health Promotion in Immigrant and Refugee Serving Organizations Project is funded by Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC).