How do I cope with the stress of moving to Canada?

Moving to start a new life can be stressful and affect your health & well-being. You could be feeling stress for many reasons, like finding a job or housing, family concerns, grief and loss, memories from the past and several other issues related to moving to a new country.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of newcomers to Canada have reported feeling more stress than before.

Are you:

  • feeling nervous, sad, angry, or helpless?
  • having problems with sleep?
  • having difficulty getting things done?
  • feeling stress from things that happened in the past?
  • noticing changes in your mood?

You are not alone. There are free services to help you like the Newcomers’ Health and Well-Being program from CMHA York Region & South Simcoe program. The program focuses on you as a whole person, taking into consideration your health and well-being needs, culture, and language. It builds on your strengths and helps you achieve your health goals.

Note: This program is for residents of York Region and South Simcoe only.

What to Expect

If you have a valid UCI number, you can contact 1-866-345-0183 or email [email protected] to access to their referral form to apply for the program. You can also have a doctor, settlement worker, or any community agency fill the form with you.

From there, you will be contacted by a clinical therapist who will do a screener with you on the phone. They will ask you some questions about your health, age, immigration status, where you live etc. If the program is a good fit for you, the therapist will begin booking an appointment immediately.

Your therapy sessions will be conducted over the phone, from the comfort of your home. You will be able to work with your therapist to create a treatment plan together and help connect you to any further support, when appropriate, including trauma therapy from Cedar Centre. Interpretation services are available so that you are able to get support in your preferred language. You will also have the option to choose one-on-one sessions, group sessions, or a combination of both!

With this program, you can also get primary care from a *nurse practitioner (NP) if you do not have a family doctor yet, or if you have an ongoing health issue. A nurse practitioner can assist you with:

  • Short term management of your health through physical assessment, medication management, ordering lab work and making referrals for you in the community.
  • Information and education on your health condition for example diabetes and answer questions you might have
  • Teachings on your medication – how to take it, why you are taking it and how it works
  • Connecting you to a general practitioner or specialist in the community based on your needs

*NP services are free of charge however, the cost of prescriptions are not covered by the program. If you would like more information on this service, you can contact the NP at 705-309-2335

In addition to these services, the Newcomers’ Health and Well Being program offers virtual workshops which you can attend on any device with Zoom, such as:

  • Stress Management
  • Grief and Loss
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Self-Care
  • Supporting Loved Ones
  • Nutrition
  • And many more!

You will also get assistance with:

  • Education on health topics, like nutrition and sleep
  • Support and counselling in your preferred language
  • Help with trauma from things that happened in the past
  • Monthly Family Support Groups for those who are supporting loved ones with stress and mental health challenges. These are currently offered in Tamil and Urdu, and a short online registration form needs to be completed to sign you up for groups.

Presented by: The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), York and South Simcoe  

For More Information:

  • Newcomer Health and Wellbeing Program CMHA – A free program helping newcomers with mental health challenges in the York and South Simcoe Region
  • Multicultural Mental Health Resources - Culturally-relevant mental health resources, information, and services in different languages. From the Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre.
  • Mental Health Status of Immigrants in Canada - A comprehensive study conducted by Statistics Canada on how the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected newcomers. From the Statistics Canada website.
  • Cedar Centre – A trauma-specific service that works with all ages, uses holistic methods, provides education and advocacy, and works from an anti-racist and anti-oppression perspective

Last updated: March 29, 2021 4006479