Mental health promotion for newcomers

Cultures West magazine, Vol 27, No. 1: Spring 2009 of the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA) is subtitled “Promoting Mental Health for Immigrants and Refugees” and includes a strong call to action with regard to children. From the first article, on starting a dialogue about mental health and newcomers:

“…children are caught between two cultures and face regular trauma all day long. They wake up with their traditional culture, spend six to seven hours engrossed in Canadian culture and then go home where they are again encouraged to stick with their traditional culture”.

An interesting portrait of the Multicultural Outreach Counselling Program highlights the need to be responsive to the needs of diverse communities and to ensure that parent-child conflict and differences in parenting styles are addressed. This edition includes several first-person accounts and case studies to illustrate the need for culturally-competent service providers and culturally-appropriate services and programs in mental health.