#426 “I May Look as if I’m Feeling Good, but Sometimes I Am and Sometimes I’m Not”: The Mental Health of Immigrant and Refugee Kids in Canada
Click here to access the PowerPoint Presenation - and the Audio Recording: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ja6zc5h7i33wxms/AACyexzJxj9gJ_fgSB7C-APVa?dl=0
“I May Look as if I’m Feeling Good, but Sometimes I Am and Sometimes I’m Not”: The Mental Health of Immigrant and Refugee Kids in Canada
The speed with which immigrant kids as a whole learn new languages, their often spectacular school achievements and the apparent ease with which they take on the dress and behaviours of other Canadian kids can give the impression that all is well. That assumption would be a mistake. Although many immigrant kids and youth are probably integrating well, others are not. Some are experiencing difficulty in learning English and/or French, some are falling behind in school and dropping out before they should, some are experiencing problems with their families, some are having trouble deciding whether they are “ethnic”, Canadian or neither, many are facing discrimination, and some are being attracted to gang culture. Resettlement policies and programs for immigrant kids need to take into account the specific problems that these children and youth face that are above and beyond the developmental challenges common to all children. They also need to understand the resilience of immigrant youngsters and where this resilience comes from.
Even if we had the best policies and programs in place (and we do not), some children and youth in immigrant families would develop mental health problems requiring specialized care. The fact that they are young people who have experienced major life disruptions, that they and their families may have language problems and that their cultural backgrounds likely differ from the health care professionals to whom their care is entrusted create particular issues that have to be resolved.
In this Fireside Chat (webinar), Dr. Morton Beiser will summarize research and accumulated knowledge about the mental health of immigrant and refugee children and discuss how this information can provide a back-drop for policy and program planning. Dr. Priya Watson will discuss clinical guidelines for assessing and treating children from immigrant and refugee backgrounds.
Who should attend?
Physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, youth workers, representatives from settlement agencies and other organizations serving newcomers, policy makers at civic, provincial and federal levels.
Advisors on tap
Morton Beiser CM, MD, FRCP, Scientist, Keenan Research Centre at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital; Professor of Distinction, Dept of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto
Author of one book, editor of two, and author of approximately 200 published articles and book chapters, Dr. Morton Beiser has also been Principal Investigator for studies totaling approximately 20 million dollars in funding that have focused on immigrant and refugee health and mental health, cultural influences on illness presentation, and cultural influences on service delivery and care. From 1986 through 1988, Dr. Beiser served as chair of a federal government Task Force on the mental health of immigrants and refugees, and authored the final report, After the Door Has Been Opened (1988). More recently, he chaired the Medical Advisory Committee of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Dr. Beiser has received national and international awards in recognition of his scholarship and other contributions, among them the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee medal, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. In 2004, Dr. Beiser was honoured with the Order of Canada. Dr. Beiser is a member of the Editorial Board of Caring for Kids New to Canada (www. kidsnewtocanada.ca).
Priya Watson, MD, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; Assistant Progessor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.
Dr. Priya Watson is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She has a research and clinical focus in transcultural child psychiatry, and completed a CIHR fellowship in this field in 2006. Dr. Watson also leads the Program in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapies for the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. In 2013, Dr. Watson published a book on Interpersonal Psychotherapy, and she has spoken internationally on the subject of culture and psychiatric training.