Hamilton Celebrates World Mental Health Day in a Multicultural Fashion
Hamilton is home to large, culturally diverse populations and has a variety of mental health and wellness service providers who can help them. Yet many members of this population do not access available services, and perhaps are not even aware of them. Other barriers that prevent people from accessing services include myths and stigma about mental health and accessing needed supports.
To raise awareness about Hamilton services to multicultural communities, including newcomer immigrants and refugees, local service providers came together to create the Multicultural Wellness Fair. Held on October 10 – World Mental Health Day– the event featured poetry, dances, games, food, and information tables, and it provided visitors the chance to appreciate Hamilton's cultural diversity. More than 25 service provider organizations participated. Volunteers provided information support and guidance to visitors in multiple languages, including French, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic and Farsi.

Hamilton offers a wealth of wellness services and it is important to continue to promote those services. Identifying challenges and breaking barriers to access is part of the work we need to engage in. "Using art in its different forms to connect people, our hope is to make the conversation around mental health more accessible," said Sarah Wayland, Senior Project Manager for HIPC, commenting on the event. The planning team for the Fair included YWCA, Mohawk College, HCCI, Good Shepherd, Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, Hamilton Public Library, SACHA and HIPC. 
HIPC and IRCC Host Community Consultations
On October 4 and 11, IRCC and HIPC hosted Community Consultations on Priority-Setting for Settlement and Resettlement Programs. About 25 individuals participated, including HIPC council members and representatives of key organizations who work with newcomers locally. The Hamilton sessions were part of nation-wide consultations that will help inform priorities for the 2019 IRCC call for funding proposals. Sessions focused on how to create more client-centred, outcomes-driven services that are responsive to local need and effectively use resources. The sessions will be documented in a final report that will be submitted to IRCC and shared with participants. 
Food for Thought 
Did you know that immigrant youth are more likely to present with a first mental health crisis to the emergency department than non-immigrants? According to a study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal on the use of the emergency department as a first point of contact for mental health care by immigrant youth in Ontario, this reflects poor access to timely mental health care that may be delivered in outpatient settings. It suggests that immigrants face barriers using mental health services from a physician on an outpatient basis. What can we do to better understand the barriers of access to mental health services faced by immigrant youth? How can we focus our efforts to reduce stigma and identify mental health problems early? 
Courses, workshops and events
  • October is Islamic History and Heritage Month. Click here for a list of events and activities in Hamilton hosted by the Muslim Council of Greater Hamilton and partner organizations. 
  • Only two days remain until the early bird registration rates close for the Pathways to Prosperity 2018 National Conference and P2P Pre-conference of the Local Immigration Partnerships. 
  • Mohawk College is offering a bridging program for newcomers for careers in Social Service and Mental Health. 
  • Empowerment Squared is offering free Digital Literacy classes to newcomers and marginalized persons. 
  • Immigrants Working Centre and Mohawk CitySchool offer Intro to General Construction training for newcomers in a mobile classroom and is accepting registrations. Spots are limited.
  • Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board hosts job fair for On-Call Assistant Caretakers. 
Send us your updates
We send this newsletter out every other week. This is a chance for us to highlight the work of our partners, share upcoming events, grant opportunities and stories of impact. 

If you would like your work to be featured and shared with the community, please email us your events, announcements by the first Monday of each month using this form. 

(Next submission deadline is Monday, November 5) 

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