September 18, 2017
3:30 pm to 4:30 pmAdd to Calendar (iCal) Add to Google Calendar
Complexities of Mental Health in Newcomers
About the Session:
This presentation will discuss the challenges and complexities newcomers face while settling in Canada. Such complexities may include: education, housing, financial constraints, jobs, language barriers and cultural shock. Adjusting to new environments can take a toll on the overall wellbeing of individuals and can bring forth problems associated to their mental, physical and emotional health. These issues can affect all members within a family These families can, however, be supported if linked to the appropriate services. Our presentation will discuss the importance of culturally appropriate services, using a holistic service delivery model and the positive effects of a family-centered approach versus client-centered when working with marginalized communities.
Aman Virk works in the field of social work and currently at pchs as a Mental Health Case Manager. Aman’s role is to provide psychoeducation and supportive counselling to those who are experiencing various mental health issues. Prior to working in the field of Mental Health, Aman was a Family Enhancement Case Manager. Aman has a passion for working with children and empowering women and completed her degree at York University.
Teena Gidda is a skilled worker with over 5 years of experience in the social service sector. Her work experience includes empowering women in the Family Enhancement Program and is currently working as a Mental Health Case Manager. Teena’s educational background includes a Social Service Worker diploma with the University of Guelph Humber and a Bachelors of Applied science Degree in Family and Community Social Services with the University of Guelph Humber.
Giving a Voice to the Often Voiceless: Designated Representative Service
About the Session:
Discusses the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario’s experience supporting non-Canadian citizens (including permanent residents) living with mental illness and facing deportation either due to a criminal conviction or refugee claim with no “traditional legitimacy”. These individuals often encounter enormous barriers to getting the help they need because they must simultaneously navigate the mental health, criminal justice, and immigration systems. Many have numerous concurrent conditions; are often transient, marginally housed or homeless; have been rejected from other mental health services due to criminal and/or immigration issues, and have few other formal/informal supports due to disengagement from friends/family. The presentation will examine how the organization’s designated representative service ensures these individuals have access to a fair and just legal process and assistance with accessing needed services and supports, as well as key learnings to better service this highly vulnerable population both at the provincial and national levels.
Antonella Scali is a policy analyst with the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO). In this role, Antonella supports SSO’s public policy analysis and initiatives in areas including access to mental health care and supports, justice, and mental health and income security. In addition, Antonella has acted as a designated representative for cases before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Antonella has a master’s degree in social work and has extensive clinical experience providing mental health crisis intervention and support.
The Discretionary Decisions of H&C Applications – An Examination of the Degree of Psychological and Social Impacts on Non-Status Persons
About the Session:
This is a ‘work in progress’ study. The aim of the study is to understand the psychological and social impacts of non-status individuals in Canada who are pending a decision on their humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) application. An H&C application is an application for permanent residence in Canada. The general rule is to apply from outside of Canada; however, individuals can request Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to make an exception to this rule. Non-status persons in this class of category are faced with a unique set of problems as they do not have access to the same resources and supports as people with status. Non-status persons live in a state of limbo as they cannot move forward without a decision on their application and cannot go back due to issues of safety and persecution in their homeland. A secondary component to explore in this study would be the discretionary powers of the immigration officers in making a determination. The proposed study will employ both quantitative and qualitative research components with triangulation methodology to gain a better understanding of the lived experiences of non-status persons. A sample of 15 participants who have a pending H&C will be interviewed individually and their documents analyzed. The participants will also be given the Beck Depression Inventory – II (BDI-II) and Trauma Symptom Checklist – 40 (TSC-40) at the various appeal stages of the H&C to complete. The results will be analyzed and documented for potential themes and factors that reference psychological and social impacts. A challenge to the discretionary nature in which H&C applications are processed requires an understanding of the impact on non-status persons so that better support structures can be created.
Seema Nadarajah holds both a Specialized Honours degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Social Work degree with a focus in child welfare and mental health. She presently works at SALCO in the capacity of a Community Legal Worker/Social Worker, where she engages in poverty law work related to income security and immigration matters. Seema has been a consultant on a variety of projects, including: Social Justice Collaborative Initiative with CAMH and reviewing the concerns of Toronto Police Service’s lethal use of force, and de-escalation techniques in dealing with individuals with mental health issues for the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD).