Mental Health Project

Funded by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration starting in March 2016, OCASI’s Mental Health Project enhances the capacity of front- line workers and immigrant and refugee serving agencies in Ontario to respond to the mental health and trauma needs of refugee clients.

The project aims to establish dialogue and partnerships within the sector; develop the capacity of settlement workers and mental health workers through a series of trainings; improve the effectiveness of services by developing a shared, standardized set of policies and procedures for use by agencies when serving refugee and newcomer clients with mental health needs.

1) Refugee Mental Health and Trauma Training

Offered both, in- person and online, and facilitated by project partners from the Hong Fook Mental Health Association and Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT), this introductory training equips settlement workers to better serve refugee clients with mental health and trauma needs and make timely referrals. Learning outcomes include:

  • Increased knowledge of mental health issues and migration
  • Increased awareness of the significance of early identification of mental health issues and coping strategies
  • Increased knowledge of culturally competent approaches
  • Understanding the impacts of Trauma
  • Increased knowledge of compassionate communication
  • Increased awareness of self-care as service providers

Important dates:

In -person training

  • January 23 and 24, 2017 Toronto West (including Peel and Halton regions)
  • February 9 and 10, 2017 Toronto East (including York and Durham regions)

Facilitated E-Learning

  • Ends January 15, 2017
  • January 30-March 5, 2017
  • March 6- April 9, 2017
  • April 10-May 14, 2017

Information about registration will be posted here.

2) Intermediate Trauma-Focused Care: A Training for Settlement Workers Serving Refugees

Offered in-person, and facilitated by partners from St. Michael’s Hospital, this intermediate training equips settlement workers with techniques and tools that allow them to better serve refugee clients with PTSD and trauma. Learning outcomes include:

  • Increased knowledge about the specific mechanisms of trauma
  • Improved competency with identification and assessment
  • Ability to use a specialized Tool-Kit to facilitate support
  • Knowledge of strategies used to manage individuals in need
  • Improved ability to provide structured referrals to reduce waiting-time for specialists

Important dates:

  • January 16, 2017 Windsor
  • January 17, 2017 London
  • January 24, 2017 Kitchener
  • January 27, 2017 Ottawa
  • January 31, 2017 Hamilton
  • February 3, 2017 Toronto
  • February 6, 2017 Peel

Information about registration will be posted here.

3) Advanced Trauma-Focused Care with Narrative Exposure Therapy: A Training for Mental Health Workers Serving Refugees

Offered in-person and facilitated by partners from St. Michael’s Hospital, this training will provide community mental health workers with in-depth knowledge on utilizing Narrative Exposure Therapy when counselling clients with trauma or PTSD. Details coming soon.