This page compiles tools and resources featured in the IRMHP course and are relevant for service providers working with immigrants and refugees. Below are links to resources, tools, reports, promising practices, and policy pages that correspond to the course’s ten modules.
Module 1: Immigration and the Social Determinants of Health
Information on immigrants and refugees in a Canadian context, including reports, government resources and fact sheets that focus on immigration in Canada and the social determinants of health.
Module 2: Introduction to Mental Health
Questionnaires and assessment tools that are relevant for recognizing mental disorders that immigrants and refugees populations commonly experience.
Modules 3-5: Mental Health Needs of Key Populations
Resources relevant to the unique mental health needs of six key immigrant and refugee subgroups: women, children, older adults, survivors of torture, LGBTQ2I+ people and persons living with disabilities.
Module 6: Treatment and Support
Networks, toolkits, and organizations with promising practices to help facilitate daily encounters with immigrants and refugees. These resources focus on providing trauma-informed care, essential communication skills and client support.
Module 7: Health equity and anti-oppression
Resources related to the dynamics of working with immigrants and refugees from different races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds, with a focus on tools to examine power and privilege.
Module 8: Service delivery and pathways to care
Practical resources on immigrant and refugee delivery and access to care. These resources highlight promising practices, government programs, and guides for interpretation services.
Module 9: Partnerships and mental health promotion
Frameworks, coalitions, best practices, and techniques to support your work in mental health promotion and developing partnerships.
Module 10: Self-care
Guides, frameworks, and tools to support cultural competence, self-care and continuing education.
Module 1: Immigration and the Social Determinants of Health
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) set the conditions that govern who enters and who remains in Canada. Canada’s immigration program is governed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations.
Permanent resident program: Economic classes
Instructions for processing applications submitted under economic classes, for which applicants are selected on the basis of their ability to become economically established in Canada.
Permanent resident program: Non-Economic classes
Instructions for processing permanent residence applications submitted under family-related and humanitarian classes, for which applicants are selected on the basis of family-reunification, social and humanitarian objectives.
Resettlement from outside Canada – determine your eligibility
Information on coming to Canada as a refugee – through the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), a designated referral organization, or a referral from a private sponsorship group.
Claim refugee protection from inside Canada
Information on the services and information available for making a refugee claim from within Canada.
Refugee appeal division
Information on the Refugee Appeal Division, which is relevant to those who have not received a positive decision from the Refugee Protection Division.
Humanitarian and compassionate: processing in-Canada applications
Information on the procedures involved in the Humanitarian and Compassionate application process.
Pre-removal risk assessment - refugee claims in Canada
Information on the eligibility and application process for the pre-removal risk assessment – which is intended for those who are facing removal from Canada.
2022 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration
This report provides the Minister with an opportunity to consistently report on key details for permanent resident admissions, temporary resident volumes, aspects of inadmissibility as well as gender-based analysis. It also serves as an important contextual backdrop for the projection of permanent resident admissions for the subsequent calendar year, which is essential for planning purposes for IRCC and its partners inside and outside government.
Social determinants of health: the Canadian facts
Presents a spectrum of existing inequities in health in Canada.
NewtoBC: Community Immigrant Demographic Profiles
Information about the population in the communities of British Columbia, the national and provincial immigration trends,
Refugee resettlement facts
This fact sheet, developed by UNHCR, outlines the process and programs related to resettlement in Canada.
Comprehensive Ranking System Tool
Helps calculate Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores, which assess the viability of economic class candidates.
Mental Health Care Acts by province/territory:
Module 2: Introduction to Mental Health
Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
A commonly used screening tool for depression in primary care, is particularly useful for working with immigrants and refugees. It is also available in multiple languages.
A standardized self-report rating scale for PTSD comprising 17 items that correspond to the key symptoms of PTSD. It can be modified to fit specific time frames or events.
Harvard Trauma Questionnaire
A checklist that inquiries about a variety of trauma events, as well as the emotional symptoms considered to be uniquely associated with trauma. Questions 1 through 16 of the PTSD portion are particularly relevant.
Assessments for trauma and mental health in refugees
Outlines different tools, including scales, questionnaires, inventories and checklists, which are applicable to refugee populations.
Modules 3-5: Key Populations
Abuse is wrong is any language:
This booklet is intended for immigrant and refugee families experiencing any type of family violence, or service providers addressing these issues.
Legal Aid Program
A cost-shared program that provides contribution funding to the provinces and territories for the delivery of legal aid services for economically disadvantaged persons.
A database that provides necessary information to navigate the network of human services quickly and easily in Ontario.
UNHCR - Guidelines on international protection: Gender-related persecution
This document outlines legal interpretative guidance for governments, legal practitioners, decision-makers and the judiciary, carrying out refugee determination in the field.
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada: Chairperson Guideline 4: Gender Considerations in Proceedings Before the Immigration and Refugee Board
This document demonstrates that gender-related persecution is a form of persecution which can and should be assessed by the Refugee Division panel hearing the claim. Where a woman claims to have a gender-related fear of persecution, the central issue is thus the need to determine the linkage between gender, the feared persecution and one or more of the definition grounds.
An organization that operates seven neighbourhood family resource centres within subsidized housing developments throughout Winnipeg.
Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA)
An organization that supports immigrant and refugee women, girls and their families, and offers more than 50 programs supporting settlement needs, language and employment training, family matters etc..
Newcomer Centre of Peel:
A multi-service charitable non-profit organization that assists the entire newcomer family in achieving settlement and integration within the Region of Peel and beyond.
International Women of Saskatoon, Just4Women
A womens' only program designed to provide gender-sensitive support services to women who are vulnerable to the risks of isolation, domestic violence and lack of access to support networks for socio-economic participation. The program provides a forum for learning, friendship and broader community connections.
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants: Initiative to End Gender-Based Violence
Provides resources, education and leadership to the immigrant and refugee serving sector and the broader community on gender-based violence prevention and survivor support.
Caring for Kids New to Canada
A resource for health professionals and others who care for immigrant and refugee children, youth and families. It offers evidence-based information, including a section on mental health and child development.
Navigator Program – Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
This program helps to better support the unique needs of refugee children and their families and includes partnerships with community agencies including settlement service-providing organizations.
Enhancing mental health promotion and wellbeing of newcomer children, youth and families in Manitoba
This report, developed by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s Immigrant & Refugee Mental Health Working Group, focuses on the mental health and emotional well-being of immigrants and refugees.
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada: Chairperson’s Guideline 3: Child refugee claimants
These guidelines address the specific procedural issue of the designation of a representative and the more general procedural issue of the steps to be followed in processing claims by unaccompanied children.
Mental health challenges for LGBT asylum seekers in Canada
This information sheet outlines the mental health challenges of LGBT asylum seekers in Canada and is intended to be a resource for service providers who work with this population.
Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual clients
This outlines 21 guidelines that are intended to inform psychologists’ practice and to provide information for the education and training of psychologists regarding LGB issues.
Rainbow Health Ontario
A program of Sherbourne Health Centre, is a hub for providers, news, social, research and resources relevant to LGBTQ populations.
Canadian Mental Health Association: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Queer identified people and mental health
This article outlines specific information related to the mental health of LGBTQ populations, including: what are the main factors that impact mental health, the importance of intersectionality, and relevant facts and figures.
APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Sexual Minority Persons
Practical guidelines for working with LGBTQ2+ people.
Seniors on the Move
An initiative of BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation), a nonprofit charitable organization in BC that aims to activate better transportation options.
Alzheimer society: Information in other languages
Provides information about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in other languages.
Alzheimer society: non-English resources
Frequently used brochures that have been translated to make important information more widely accessible.
Finding Your Way
Helps people living with dementia, their families, caregivers and communities to recognize the risk of going missing, be prepared for incidents of going missing, and ensure that people with dementia can live safely in the community.
Alberta: Transportation Alternatives for Alberta Seniors
This resource outlines alternative transportation options in different communities.
Survivors of Torture
Vancouver Association for Victims of Torture (VAST)
Provides counselling, documentation and referral services for refugees, as well as province-wide education, information, referral and case consultation for health and social service providers working with refugees in British Columbia. VAST offers an integrated approach in which settlement workers and trauma counsellors collaborate to provide services informed by their respective approaches.
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT)
Provides services to survivors of torture and their families in the Greater Toronto Area and links to other services.
Volunteer Befriending Program
CCVT's Volunteer Befriending Program is a promising practice that supports survivors’ ability to establish social ties, leading to community-building and promoting settlement and integration.
When your patient is a survivor of torture
This article provides firsthand recommendations from a survivor of torture.
An Amnesty International initiative dedicated to ending torture practices across the world.
Torture Victims in the Context of Migration: Identification, Redress and Rehabilitation
A 2017 report by the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Persons Living with Disabilities
Disability and/or rehabilitation services by province and territory:
Module 6: Counselling and Case management / Treatment and Support
Best practices in settlement services - Government of Canada
This website showcases best practices in settlement services to inform organizations, governments and individuals working with newcomers about programs taking place across Canada and around the world. It also aims to promote innovative ways to assist immigrants in their integration into their new communities.
Outlines recommended practices that will help service providers and organizations increase their capacity to deliver trauma-informed services.
The Forensic Mental Health System in Ontario: An information guide
Provides detailed information about the forensic mental health system in Ontario, the process and how to access help for clients.
Community mentoring programs
Fosters cross-cultural awareness between newcomers and the local host community, bringing together diverse cultural groups to share and learn from each other.
Five steps to mental wellbeing:
A guide by the U.K. National Health Service promoting strategies for mental well-being
Community Airport Newcomers Network
Offers individualized reception, orientation, information, and referrals for immigrants. It also offers specialized services as needed for government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees.
First Steps Early Years Refugee Settlement Program
This program serves newly-arrived refugee children, ages birth to five, along with their caregivers in the Lower Mainland area of BC. The program aims to reduce the impact of trauma on the development of children, ease integration and provide parenting information in the Canadian context.
The Gateway Project:
A volunteer program that trains medical students in cross-cultural medicine by engaging them in community action. The program also focuses on improving access to health care for refugees arriving in Newfoundland.
Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture (VAST)
VAST provides services such as trauma counselling, and psychosocial education to help refugees in their settlement process. VAST also provides a psychosocial support group for refugees working through their refugee claims. Through a partnership, it also provides an integrated approach to addressing refugee clients’ mental health and settlement needs during their first few months in Canada.
Madison Community Services
Offers a range of community-based, holistic services through its Recovery during Immigration and Settlement (RISE) program. The program addresses the mental health and settlement challenges of immigrants and refugees who experience substantial stress during their settlement process.
Module 7: Health equity and anti-oppression
Dismantling Anti-Black Racism: A Strategy of Fair & Just CAMH:
CAMH and the Anti-Black Racism and Mental Health Advisory Committee created the “Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy.” It identifies key priority areas at the organizational, staff and clinical level, and includes 22 actions that aim to decrease anti-Black racism at CAMH.
Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
This page provides several downloadable resources on specific intersections such as women and poverty, race and gender, and a discussion of intersectional feminist frameworks.
NewtoBC: Community Immigrant Demographic Profiles
Using Census 2016 data, the NewToBC team identified, analyzed, and compiled data related to immigration and developed 16 community demographic profiles.
City for All Women Initiative: Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities:
This guide was produced by City for All Women Initiative, in collaboration with municipalities, women’s organizations, academics, local and national organizations from across the country, to advance gender equality, equity, and inclusion.
The Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
Provides several downloadable resources on specific intersections such as women and poverty, race and gender, and a discussion of intersectional feminist frameworks.
A non-profit organization and international collaborative of researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition. Its “implicit association test” allows you to assess your unconscious bias.
AAISA: Building Champions of Anti-Racism and Anti-Islamophobia: A Practice Guide for Alberta’s Settlement Community:
This practical manual of principles, tools, resources and case examples can help professionals, organizations, government, or communities address racism and Islamophobia at an individual, community, or systems level.
The opportunity agenda: Ten tips for putting intersectionality into practice:
This list of tips can serve as a starting point for social justice advocates, policymakers, journalist, and researchers interested in incorporating an intersectional approach in their work.
My Script My Voice:
This project supports young people facing Anti-Asian racism, and was initiated by researchers from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, the Asian Canadian Living Archive and Hong Fook Mental Health Association.
Module 8 Service Use Pathways to Care and Interpretation
Addiction and mental health information and services
This provides links to information and resources on mental health, substances and addiction in Alberta.
Mental health and substance use
Provides information on mental health services and resources offered across British Columbia, including educational resources, prevention programs, early intervention initiatives and recovery and treatment options.
Cultural consultation: Considering the other in mental health care by Laurence J. Kirmayer, Jaswant Guzder and Cécile Rousseau
This book explores the practice of cultural consultation as a strategy to improve the quality of mental health care for diverse populations. The contributors frame best practices in psychiatry clinical psychology, and social work in relation to empathy, human rights, and culturally responsive and ethically sound care. A detailed model of the process of cultural consultation, from initial intake, through assessment, to recommendations and referrals, provides guidelines for clinical practice.
MOSAIC – Interpretation and translation
Coordinates over 300 language specialists working in more than 80 languages to provide the public and private sectors with professional interpretation and translation services.
Interpretation and Translation Services Calgary
Offers services in over 85 languages, translating documents and providing interpreters to support newcomers and organizations. All of our translators and interpreters are highly qualified with professional accreditation and first-language experience.
Language bank services, Immigrant Centre Manitoba
Has over 400 translators and translators registered with them, with over 50 different languages.
Government of Nova Scotia website
Provides an overview of mental health services in Nova Scotia.
Access Alliance Language Services
Access Alliance Language Services provides translation services, and face-to-face and remote interpretation services to a diverse range of public sector organizations.
Mental health strategy for Canada
This report outlines the key recommendations for improving care for immigrants, refugees, ethno-cultural and racialized groups to improve access to, and the quality of, mental health care.
Common mental health problems in immigrants and refugees
This article identifies risk factors and strategies in the approach to mental health assessment and to prevention and treatment of common mental health problems for immigrants in primary care.
Supporting the mental health of refugees to Canada
This backgrounder report provides evidence-informed information and best practices for a coordinated mental health response.
Interim federal health program: summary of coverage
Provides information on the Interim Federal Health Program – healthcare coverage initiative for refugees in Canada.
Transitional health clinic for refugees
The Newcomer Health Clinic provides preventative health and primary medical services for government assisted refugees, privately sponsored refugees and refugee claimants in the greater Halifax area.
Crossroads Clinic at Women’s College Hospital aims to provide comprehensive primary care that is responsive to the unique and unmet needs of refugees during their first two years in Canada.
BridgeCare Clinic provides a single point of access for the initial health assessment and primary care services for newly arrived, government sponsored refugees.
Mood Disorders Association of British Columbia (MDABC)
The MDABC model of care offers a “one-stop shop” for psychiatric assessment and follow-up services for family physicians; this improves efficiency and reduces costs per client visit.
Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM)
RAAM is an integrated care model in Ontario that is led by a psychologist and family physician in consultation with community partners; this eliminates wait times (same-day treatment), reduces alcohol-related emergency department visits and increases client connections to additional community services.
Queens Family Health Team in Nova Scotia
Offers co-location of mental health and primary care services; this improves the ability to deal with complex cases and client encounters and provides access to mental health counselling services for clients in a familiar environment.
Navigating mental health services in Toronto - a guide for newcomer communities
This guide is intended both for people dealing with mental illness or mental health problems and for their friends and families. It is meant to help them understand the mental health system.
National standard guide for community interpreting services
This document outlines the core competencies and ethical principles for interpreters.
A Guide for Professionals Working With Immigrants & Refugee Children & Youth.
This mental health promotion guide, produced by Caring for Kids New to Canada, aims to increase personal resilience by building on protective factors, and to decrease risk factors through care, counselling and the reduction of inequities.
Mental Health Promotion Integrated Service Model.
This program, developed by Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) 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.
Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI)
Health care providers can use this tool, developed by the American Psychiatric Association and the DSM-5 Cross-Cultural Issues Subgroup, to gather essential data to produce a cultural formulation.
Overview of health care coverage for refugees and immigrants
Module 9 Mental Health Promotion and Partnerships
Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion
Identifies five action areas that are essential for health promotion strategies.
Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care
A group of physicians and other health service providers who united to share resources, do research and advocate for health coverage for refugees.
Simplifying the Journey Project
The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), through their Simplifying the Journey project, developed a framework that organizations can use to improve equity of access to services for marginalized populations.
Here to Help
This website, developed by a coalition of seven agencies, provides information about mental health promotion initiatives.
The Opening Doors Project
The Opening Doors Project uses unique story-telling techniques in presenting workshops to agencies and the community, which are aimed at strengthening, fostering and cultivating healthier communities in Ontario.
The Journey to Promote Mental Health:
This training aims to enhance the capacity of community workers from the settlement service sector in addressing and dealing with mental health issues presented by the individuals they serve. The overarching goal is to enhance participants’ knowledge, awareness, and skills of cultural understanding and to review their practices in order to improve their services for refugees coming from the diverse background.
Publicly viewable database of support services and agencies for newcomers
This database provides a list of free services based on your location (postal code, city or full address).
Kids new to Canada – Community resources
This list will help health professionals become familiar with services, relevant to immigrant and refugee families, in their province/territory or region.
Peel Newcomer Strategy Group (PNSG) – Interactive maps
PNSG, in partnership with the Region of Peel, has created interactive maps indicating the location of services across the region. The services available include schools, settlement services, hospitals, faith-based institutions and early year services.
Abundant Community Edmonton project
This project uses neighbourhood leaders and connectors to better engage neighbours to build relationships, reduce social isolation, share their vision and increase safety.
Action for Neighbourhood Change
This was a partnership and learning initiative that explored and assessed approaches to locally-driven neighbourhood revitalization that can enhance the capacity of individuals and families to build and sustain strong and healthy communities.
Peel collaborative – Holistic crisis planning
These videos for service providers demonstrate counterproductive and productive approaches to engaging youth and families in crisis and safety planning. You'll see re-enactments in three different settings where youth and families may go to receive support for a mental health issue.
The Mental Health Strategy for Canada (2012)
The Mental Health Strategy for Canada offers recommendations to improve the mental health and well-being of immigrants and refugees in Canada with its Strategic Direction 4, Priority 4.2: Improve mental health services and supports by and for immigrants, refugees, ethno-cultural and racialized groups.
Culture Counts: A roadmap to health promotion best practices for developing health promotion initiatives in mental health and substance use with ethno-cultural communities: https://nursing-informatics.com/Culture_Counts_2012.pdf
This guide identifies a best practices approach to health promotion in mental health and substance use with ethno-cultural communities. It aims to address how programs can address the needs of people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
Framework for Mental Health Promotion – OCASI
This provides a framework for mental health promotion to facilitate a more standardized level of service delivery for the settlement sector.
Summary and tip sheet of mental health promotion guidelines – OCASI
These are 8 mental health promotion guidelines for agencies serving immigrants and refugees.
The REACH Multicultural Family Centre
The REACH Multicultural Family Centre employs frontline workers who are trusted members of the communities they serve. The workers deliver culturally responsive programs. In addition, the centre hosts a number of culturally diverse community groups aimed at enhancing the social ties of newcomers.
Muslim Food Bank and Community
This is a faith-based program that uses volunteer mental health case workers to address mental health and addiction issues within the Muslim community in the Greater Vancouver area.
Ottawa Newcomer Health Centre (ONHC)
This community-based health centre provides culturally relevant health and mental health services to Government Assisted Refugees. The ONHC recently expanded services to Privately Sponsored Refugees and claimants, and is operated under a partnership between Somerset West Community Health Centre and the Catholic Centre for Immigrants.
Muslim Children's Aid & Support Services: https://muslimchildrensaid.com/
An Ontario-based registered not-for-profit aimed at empowering Muslim and non-Muslim children and the most vulnerable while being guided by Islamic values. The MCASS provides child protection for individuals and families in the Greater Toronto Area to improve their social and cultural well-being.
Communitas Supportive Care Society: https://www.communitascare.com/services/
A faith-based organization providing care for those living with disabilities in communities across British Columbia. Services range from 24-hour residential care to skills-based day programs to respite care for families. People of all abilities, regardless of faith, social standing, race or ethnicity, are welcome.
The service collaboratives
PSSP and local partners have established networks and created real change that improves the lives of people in a number of communities.
The Toronto Community Crisis Service
the City of Toronto launched mobile crisis response services to better support the community in responding to mental health crises.
Partnership Self-Assessment Tool
This questionnaire asks questions about different aspects of partnerships.
Impact-MPI Assessment Tool
This is a tool to measure individual and organizational motivation and capacity to engage in collaboration. The ultimate purpose in measuring partnerships is to build a strong and functional foundation in the partnership/collaborative to help groups reach their impact goals.
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Mental Health First Aid is a training program designed to help individuals who are developing a mental health problem or illness, dealing with worsened mental health problems or illnesses, or in a mental health crisis. This first aid training is “given until appropriate support is found or until the crisis is resolved” and has multiple versions depending on the target population (e.g., seniors, youth, First Nations, veterans…etc.)
National Muslim mental health conference
This event has been organized annually since 2016 by the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, the Muslim Medical Association of Canada and Naseeha - Muslim Youth Helpline. National and international presenters and experts participate in the conference, along with a range of attendees including physicians, allied health service professionals and religious scholars.
PEGASUS is an acronym built from the first letters of the themes of PEeace, Global Health And Sustainability. This bi-annual conference organized by the Pegasus Institute explores global health issues including climate change, environmental health, Indigenous health, nuclear disarmament, war and others. The goal is to advance awareness and knowledge of global health issues, both locally and abroad, framed through a lens of peace and sustainability. The conference brings together physicians, health care providers, students, health-related organizations and community members to share innovative ideas and concepts on the dynamics of global health and the socio-ecological determinants that affect health worldwide. A key outcome of the conference is the development and refinement of new ideas for advocacy and participation in global change toward peace, health and sustainable solutions. It is expected the conference also fosters a growing commitment toward global health service, as well as an appreciation for diversity, interdisciplinary learning and interprofessionalism within the field.
Module 10: Self-care
Mental health and addiction supports
CAMH provides access to access to resources, psychotherapy and psychiatric services for health care workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL)
This validated, 30-item self-report is designed for those in the helping professions. It provides ratings for compassion satisfaction/fatigue, burnout and secondary trauma.
Template for creating a self-care plan that helps you prevent or cope with difficult feelings.