The Newcomer Mental Health and Well-being Program: A Promise of Partnership (NMHP) is a free Carizon program funded by Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The primary focus of NMHP is to promote and support the mental well-being of Newcomers and to align mental health services for refugees and persons with protected status who have resettled in the Region of Waterloo. Our main goals are for newcomers to feel an increased sense of belonging in the community and experience successful settlement in the Waterloo Region through increased understanding of mental health and well-being, facilitating direct access to community services, raising awareness about the needs of these newcomers and by supporting capacity building of community partners and the larger community to meet the mental health needs of newcomers in our region. These goals reflect the emotional and tangible aspects of the immigration process.
Program staff approach their work with guiding values of acceptance, cultural humility, inclusion of participant voices, and a strengths-based and trauma-informed lens that are incorporated into all activities.
Community Well-Being Orientation Sessions
The Community Well-Being Orientation sessions are provided to each new refugee who is received at Reception House within the first month of arrival and is organized in collaboration with Reception House. This service is designed to normalize the reactions individuals and families may have during this period of settlement, help them to understand the stages of immigration and its psychological impacts with a preventative focus.
Our new Mental Health Consultation Service is provided within a circle of care with settlement workers and community partners and will consist of supportive counselling, coaching, and reassurance, and resource information will involve suggesting and helping participants to access mental health resources in the community such as therapy, psychiatry, and other mental health services, such as groups.
Once we are back to working in the community, service will take place at settlement service locations in Waterloo Region. In order to ensure a warm and successful transfer to mental health services, a Newcomer Mental Health Facilitator may also accompany consultation participants to their initial mental health service appointment to explain what is going to happen, and help ease their anxiety and. In the meantime, consultation services are available virtually and over the phone.
Trauma Treatment Groups and Individual Counselling
Provided to newcomer clients who are experiencing symptoms related to trauma and have been referred by a counsellor or service provider. Both individual and group therapy focuses on providing participants with tools and strategies to achieve safety and stabilization of trauma symptoms.
This is an opportunity for newcomers to speak with a POP staff about mental health concerns, accessing community resources or any other topics that relate to their wellbeing. Drop in hours are held at local secondary schools in areas that are determined to have a high population of newcomer families and in the community for newcomer youth identified as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Drop in programs may be provided at other settlement service organizations such as YMCA Immigrant Services and/or Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre.
Community Education Sessions and Mental Health Workshops
Community education sessions are offered to community members with the goal of providing a broader understanding of newcomer mental health and their experiences to increase community capacity to support newcomers. Mental Health Workshops are offered to newcomers as requested by community partners with a focus on destigmatizing mental health and increasing awareness and understanding of POP program.
To learn more about “The Promise of Partnership Project,” register for one of our services, or to make a referral, please contact email@example.com or 519-743-6333.