Advertisement

Canadian Immigrant Mental Health

  • Kenneth Fung
  • Jaswant Guzder
Living reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)

Abstract

Canada is a nation of immigrants, with about a fifth of the total population being foreign born. It has come a long way from exclusionary immigration policies to embracing multiculturalism, a mosaic vision of society, with the province of Quebec pursuing a model of interculturalism. Nevertheless, the examination of the ‘healthy immigrant effect’ suggests that for some immigrants, their physical and mental health deteriorate to non-immigrant level or in some cases worse. Some of this may be accounted for by acculturative challenges as well as the impact of social determinants of health. To enhance the mental health of immigrants, systemic changes are needed to address social inequities and oppression, reflected in the higher unemployment and underemployment rates, poverty, racism, discrimination, and the culmination of intersectional marginalization. Immigrants often underutilize mental health services until later on in the course of illness due to multiple access barriers. Further, cultural competence at both the clinical level as well as the organization level is needed to provide effective care. A number of care models in Canada have begun to address these needs, including ethnospecific services and the cultural consultation model.

Keywords

Immigrants Mental health Healthy immigrant effect Acculturation Cultural competence Ethnospecific services Cultural consultation Social determinants 

References

  1. Aglipay M, Colman I, Chen Y (2012) Does the healthy immigrant effect extend to anxiety disorders? Evidence from a nationally representative study. J Immigr Minor Health 15(5):851–857.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-012-9677-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson KK, Cheng J, Susser E, McKenzie KJ, Kurdyak P (2015) Incidence of psychotic disorders among first-generation immigrants and refugees in Ontario. Can Med Assoc J 187(9):E279–E286.  https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.141420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Angus Reid Institute (2015) Religion and faith in Canada today: strong belief, ambivalence and rejection define our views. Angus Reid Institute, pp 1–46. http://angusreid.org/faith-in-canada (accessed 9 Jan 2016)
  4. Ballantyne M, Benzies KM, Trute B (2013) Depressive symptoms among immigrant and Canadian born mothers of preterm infants at neonatal intensive care discharge: a cross sectional study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 13(Suppl 1):S11.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2393-13-S1-S11CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Beiser M (2005) The health of immigrants and refugees in Canada. Can J Public Health 96(Suppl 2):S30–S44PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Beiser M, Hou F, Hyman I, Tousignant M (2002) Poverty, family process, and the mental health of immigrant children in Canada. Am J Public Health 92(2):220–227CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Beiser M, Simich L, Pandalangat N (2003) Community in distress: mental health needs and help-seeking in the Tamil community in Toronto. Int Migr 41(5):233–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berry JW (2003) Conceptual approaches to acculturation. In: Chun KM, Balls Organista P, Marín G (eds) Acculturation: advances in theory, measurement, and applied research. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, pp 17–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bonikowska A, Hou F, Picot G (2015) Changes in the regional distribution of new immigrants to Canada. Statistics Canada, Ottawa, pp 1–27Google Scholar
  10. Bouchard G, Taylor C (2008) Building the future, a time for reconciliation. Government of Quebec, Quebec City, p 95Google Scholar
  11. Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre (2008) A history of exclusion. Retrieved Feb 2016, from http://www.culturalcentre.ca/chinese_albertan_history/policies.htm
  12. Chen YYB, Li AT, Fung KP, Wong J (2015) Improving access to mental health services for racialized immigrants, refugees, and non-status people living with HIV/AIDS. J Health Care Poor Underserved 26(2):505–518CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Chiasson M (2012) A clarification of terms: Canadian multiculturalism and Quebec interculturalism. Canadian Icon, Montreal, pp 1–14. Retrieved from http://canadianicon.org/table-of-contents/the-management-of-diversity/Google Scholar
  14. Chow W, Law S, Andermann L (2009) ACT tailored for ethnocultural communities of metropolitan Toronto. Psychiatr Serv 60(6):847.  https://doi.org/10.1176/ps.2009.60.6.847CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Dong W, Fung K, Chan KC (2010) Community mobilisation and empowerment for combating a pandemic. J Epidemiol Community Health 64(2):182–183.  https://doi.org/10.1136/jech.2008.082206CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Eric Jarvis G, Kirmayer LJ, Jarvis GK, Whitley R (2005) The role of Afro-Canadian status in police or ambulance referral to emergency psychiatric services. Psychiatr Serv 56(6):705–710.  https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.56.6.705CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Fung KP (2003) Alexithymia among Chinese Canadians [Master’s thesis], University of Toronto, Toronto, pp 1–163Google Scholar
  18. Fung KP (2012) Psychological acculturation. In: Loue S, Sajatovic M (eds) Encyclopedia of immigrant health. Springer, New York, pp 1233–1234.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fung K (2015) Acceptance and commitment therapy: western adoption of Buddhist tenets? Transcult Psychiatry 52(4):561–576.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461514537544CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Fung K, Wong Y-LR (2007) Factors influencing attitudes towards seeking professional help among East and Southeast Asian immigrant and refugee women. Int J Soc Psychiatry 53(3):216–231CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Fung KP, Wong J (2014) ACT to reduce stigma of mental illness: a group intervention training manual on acceptance and commitment therapy. Unpublished ManuscriptGoogle Scholar
  22. Fung K, Andermann L, Zaretsky A, Lo HT (2008) An integrative approach to cultural competence in the psychiatric curriculum. Acad Psychiatry 32(4):272–282.  https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ap.32.4.272CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Fung K, Lo HT, Srivastava R, Andermann L (2012) Organizational cultural competence consultation to a mental health institution. Transcult Psychiatry 49(2):165–184.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461512439740CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Galarneau RMAD (2016) Labour market participation of immigrant and Canadian-born wives, 2006 to 2014. Statistics Canada, Ottawa, pp 1–10Google Scholar
  25. Ganesan S (2005) Overview of culturally-based mental health care in Vancouver. Transcult Psychiatry 42(3):478–490.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461505055628CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Ganesan S, Mok H, McKenna M (2011) Perception of mental illness: preliminary exploratory research at a cross-cultural outpatient psychiatric clinic. Int J Soc Psychiatry 57(1):81–89.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0020764010104286CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Gilmore J (2009) The 2008 Canadian immigrant labour market: analysis of quality of employment. Statistics Canada, Ottawa, pp 1–41Google Scholar
  28. Gushulak B (2010) Canada’s migration health – legislation and policies: over the centuries. Health Policy Res Bull 17:12–16Google Scholar
  29. Han CSE, Oliffe JL, Ogrodniczuk JS (2013) Culture and suicide: Korean-Canadian immigrants’ perspectives. Ethn Inequal Health Soc Care 6(2/3):30–42.  https://doi.org/10.1108/EIHSC-08-2013-0015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hansson E, Tuck A, Lurie S, McKenzie K, the Task Group of the Services Systems Advisory Committee (2010) Improving mental health services for immigrant, refugee, ethno-cultural and racialized groups: issues and options for service improvement. Mental Health Commission of Canada, pp 1–54. http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/Key_Documents/en/2010/Issues_Options_FINAL_English%2012Nov09.pdf
  31. Hong Fook Mental Health Association (2015) The celebration of integrated health care – annual report. Hong Fook Mental Health Association, Toronto, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  32. Hou F, Bonikowska A (2015) The earnings advantage of landed immigrants who were previously temporary residents in Canada. Statistics Canada, Ottawa, pp 1–36Google Scholar
  33. Hou F, Balakrishnan TR, Jurdi R (2016) The economic integration of visible minorities in contemporary Canadian society: revisited. In: Grabb E, Guppy N (eds) Social inequality in Canada: patterns, problems & policies, 5th edn. Pearson Prentice Hall, Toronto, pp 253–272Google Scholar
  34. Islam F (2015) Immigrating to Canada during early childhood associated with increased risk for mood disorders. Community Ment Health J 51(6):723–732.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-015-9851-yCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Jagpal SS (1994) Becoming Canadians: pioneer Sikhs in their own words. Harbour Publishing, Madeira ParkGoogle Scholar
  36. Kirby MJ, Keon WJ (2006) Out of the shadows at last: transforming mental health, mental illness and addiction services in Canada. Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  37. Kirmayer LJ, Guzder J (2013) The charter of Quebec values: a view from cultural psychiatry. Retrieved 2016, from http://blogs.mcgill.ca/tcpsych/files/2013/10/Charter-Culture-Mental-Health-.pdf
  38. Kirmayer LJ, Groleau D, Guzder J, Blake C, Jarvis E (2003) Cultural consultation: a model of mental health service for multicultural societies. Can J Psychiatry 48(3):145–153CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Kirmayer LJ, Narasiah L, Munoz M, Rashid M, Ryder AG, Guzder J et al (2011) Common mental health problems in immigrants and refugees: general approach in primary care. Can Med Assoc J 183(12):E959–E967.  https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.090292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kirmayer LJ, Fung K, Rousseau C, Lo HT, Menzies P, Guzder J et al (2012). Guidelines for training in cultural psychiatry. Can J Psychiatry 57(3):S1–S16Google Scholar
  41. Kirmayer LJ, Guzder J, Rousseau C (2014) Cultural consultation: encountering the other in mental health care. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Li A, Wong J, Cain R, Fung KP (2016) Engaging African-Caribbean, Asian, and Latino community leaders to address HIV stigma in Toronto. Int J Migr Health Soc Care 12(4):288–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lo HT (2005) The Hong Fook experience: working with ethnocultural communities in Toronto 1982–2002. Transcult Psychiatry 42(3):457–477.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461505055626CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Malenfant EC (2004) Suicide in Canada’s immigrant population. Health Rep 15(2):9–17PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Mental Health Commission of Canada (2012) Changing directions, changing lives: the mental health strategy for Canada. Mental Health Commission of Canada, CalgaryGoogle Scholar
  46. Mental Health Commission of Canada (2015) Informing the future: mental health indicators for Canada. Mental Health Commission of Canada, Ottawa. Retrieved from http://www.mentalhealthcommission.caGoogle Scholar
  47. Moztarzadeh A, O’Rourke N (2015) Psychological and sociocultural adaptation: acculturation, depressive symptoms, and life satisfaction among older Iranian immigrants in Canada. Clin Gerontol 38(2):114–130.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07317115.2014.990601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nangia P (2013) Discrimination experienced by landed immigrants in Canada. Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement working papers, No. 2013/7. Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement, Toronto, pp 1–15Google Scholar
  49. Nestel S (2012) Colour coded health care: the impact of race and racism on Canadians’ health. Wellesley Institute, Toronto, pp 1–30Google Scholar
  50. Ng E, Omariba W (2010) Is there a healthy immigrant effect in mental health? Evidences from population-based health surveys in Canada. Can Issues, (Summer), 23–28Google Scholar
  51. Noh S, Kaspar V, Wickrama KAS (2007) Overt and subtle racial discrimination and mental health: preliminary findings for Korean immigrants. Am J Public Health 97(7):1269–1274.  https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2005.085316CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  52. Picot G, Hou F (2014) Immigration, low income and income inequality in Canada. Statistics Canada, Ottawa, pp 1–41Google Scholar
  53. Rousseau C, Pottie K, Thombs BD, Munoz M, Jurcik T (2011) Appendix 11: post traumatic stress disorder: evidence review for newly arriving immigrants and refugees. Can Med Assoc J 183(12):E824–E925. Retrieved from http://www.cmaj.ca/content/suppl/2010/06/07/cmaj.090313.DC1/imm-ptsd-11-at.pdfCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Ryder AG, Alden LE, Paulhus DL (2000) Is acculturation unidimensional or bidimensional? A head-to-head comparison in the prediction of personality, self-identity, and adjustment. J Pers Soc Psychol 79(1):49–65.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0O22-3514.79.1.49CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Solyom C (2015, October 29) Survey reveals troubling data on religious tolerance in Quebec. Montreal GazetteGoogle Scholar
  56. Soroor W, Popal Z (2005) Bridging The gap: understanding the mental health needs of Afghan youth. Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Toronto, pp 1–86Google Scholar
  57. Statistics Canada (2013) Immigration and ethnocultural diversity in Canada (No. Catalogue 99-010-X2011001). Statistics Canada, Ottawa, pp 1–23Google Scholar
  58. Thomson MS, Chaze F, George U, Guruge S (2015) Improving immigrant populations’ access to mental health services in Canada: a review of barriers and recommendations. J Immigr Minor Health 1–11.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-015-0175-3. Center for Minority Public Health
  59. Vang Z, Sigouin J, Flenon A, Gagnon A (2015) The healthy immigrant effect in Canada: a systematic review. Popul Change Lifecourse Strateg Knowl Cluster Discuss Pap Ser 3(1). Article 4. Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/pclc/vol3/iss1/4
  60. Wong JP-H, Li AT-W, Poon MK-L, Fung KP-L (2013) An exploratory study on the mental health of immigrants, refugees and non-status people living with HIV in Toronto. Int J Migr Health Soc Care 9(3):122–134.  https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-07-2013-0026CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wu Z, Schimmele CM (2005) The healthy migrant effect on depression: variation over time? Can Stud Popul 32(2):271–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Yssaad L (2012) The immigrant labour force analysis series. Statistics Canada, OttawaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.PsychiatryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations