Closing the mental health gap

Long wait times for refugee claim hearings often mean asylum seekers do not receive mental health services, despite research indicating that newcomers experience higher rates of serious mental health issues than citizens and people with permanent Immigration status.

Thanks to support from HCF, Hamilton’s Immigrants Working Centre will address this gap with a new program that connects 250 asylum seekers with mental health services.

The organization has operated a successful newcomer mental health program since 2020, supporting over 500 people and playing a vital role in crisis management, settlement counselling and education for newcomers. This is the first time, however, IWC has been able to extend these supports to asylum seekers.

“There’s no other settlement-focused organization providing this service for refugee claimants in Hamilton.”

“The Immigrants Working Centre currently has hundreds of active refugee claimants accessing our services who could benefit from mental health support,” says IWC assistant executive director, Anni Kelly.

Excerpt from 2024 Spring Legacy Newsletter