Refugees & Newcomers

Promise of Partnership

Newcomer Mental Health & Well-being Program: A Promise of Partnership

Newcomer Mental Health & Well-being Program: A Promise of Partnership

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.

Services Offered

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.

Consultation Services

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.

Drop In

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 or 519-743-6333.

Newcomer Mental Health and Wellbeing Program Flyer


Group Programs


Empowering Youth on Racismgroup flyer. 


Tea and Talk – A group for newcomer women which provides an opportunity to discuss their experiences adjusting to life in Canada, learn strategies to enhance holistic wellbeing, and focus on building connection and relationship within the group and larger community.

Standing Strong – A group for female youth, and it is designed to empower girls to see and create opportunities for getting involved in their community, establish healthy coping strategies, inspire self-love and enhance life skills for a bright future. Groups may take place in school or in an alternate community location.

Parents Talk it Through – A group for newcomer parents and provides participants with opportunities to share wisdom, learn new tools for promoting positive mental health in their families, and support each other on their parenting journey in their new country. This group promises to help promote the total well-being of parents.

Fabulous Kids – A group for newcomer children, designed to assist in developing and expanding their social skills and emotion management skills in ways that will help them succeed at integrating into their new community. Through games and activities, children learn coping strategies, cooperation and team building.

International Youth Club – An all-gender group for youth. The group is designed to increase mental health knowledge, de-stigmatize mental health issues, develop healthy coping skills, and promote community participation and belonging.

Youth in Diverse Cultures – A group for newcomer male youth. This group is designed to promote wellbeing and a sense of belonging in the community. The group will explore a wide range of issues that impact their daily living. A physical component will be added to the beginning of each group to promote total wellbeing.

Please Note – All groups are FREE of charge. Snacks and bus tickets are also provided.

Please call 519-743-6333 to register for a group today!

Newcomer Mental Health & Wellbeing Program: A Promise of Partnership


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada