Giving back to the Community of Newcomers and Refugees during Winter

As the festive season approaches, a lot of corporations are preparing parties and looking forward to the holiday season.   Some companies are also looking for alternative ways to give back to the community, and we want to shine a light on the newcomer or refugee community.  

 

Back on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, 7 PM EST, PsyMood in collaboration with COMPASS Refugee Centre, recently hosted an amazing and informative live webinar, “Embracing Newcomers with Refugee Heart”,  with a panel of professionals who work closely with newcomers and refugee populations. The panellists highlighted the diverse needs of these groups and effective strategies to provide trauma-informed care.  

Watch the Live Webinar on PsyMood’s YouTube channel

The professionals shed light on the mental and emotional struggles that these brave souls often face as they embark on their journey to build new lives in unfamiliar lands.  Challenges that are not only external but deeply internal, as they grapple with cultural adaptation, identity, and the scars of their past experiences.

 

A common theme was the importance of building trust and safety. Many refugees have faced betrayal, exploitation, and a lack of support systems. Counsellors emphasized creating an open, non-judgmental environment where refugees’ experiences are validated. Providing services in clients’ native languages also facilitates communication and understanding. 

 

In group shelters, establishing routines and community can aid healing after the chaos of displacement. Creative outlets like art, music, and journaling allow refugees to process emotions and experiences they may not be ready to discuss. Yoga and mindfulness help ground refugees in the present moment rather than reliving past trauma. 

 

For children, school counsellors play a critical role in fostering self-esteem and connections with peers. Navigating bullying, discrimination, and academic challenges requires compassionate support. Connecting families to resources can also reduce home stress.

How Can you Help, During the Season of Giving

We asked our friend, Josi Pape, Program Assistant, COMPASS Refugee Centre if there is anything that people can donate or help the refugees at the centre.  She mentioned that she had some people coming in without any coats and sweaters.  We also asked what else can someone do to help.  She added that any food and grocery cards are always helpful. COMPASS Refugee Centre also launched their gift catalogue this month that covers many things including food, housing support, transportation

Here are some other tips to brighten someone’s day:

  • Smile: A friendly smile goes a long way.  It’s one non-verbal communication that everyone understands and accepts
  • Say Hello: Give a kind greeting. It can be overwhelming to arrive in a new place with no connections. Have a chat, ask how they’re doing or just comment on the weather.
  • Spread awareness: Inspire others to help refugees
  • Raise money, join or create a fundraising event.  This will not only bring the community together but bring awareness to the cause.
  • Donate clothes, food or gift cards.  Items are getting more expensive for everyone, especially for a newcomer or refugee.  Any kind of donation will go a long way.
  • Donate to their local community, like COMPASS Refugee Centre

We want to thank everyone who joined our live webinar.  We look forward to bringing more insightful topics in the new year.   While every refugee’s story is unique, trauma-informed care centred on building trust, safety, and community empowers refugees to overcome adversity. PsyMood is committed to making such support accessible to all.  

 

Let’s reflect on every individual by trying to understand their struggles, use empathy to relate to one another, and give comprehensive support to immigrants and refugees.  No matter how you decide to give back to the community, showing sympathy and kindness will bring mindful wellness to anyone you encounter. 

Please share your insights in the comments section below in regards to working as a freelancer and hiring freelancers in the workplace. At PsyMood, our expertise lies in offering tailored solutions for mental health support in the workplace. We provide personalized consultations, be it online or in person, taking into account individual needs, cultural backgrounds, geographic locations, and personal interests. 

PsyMood is a digital tool designed to help you find the support you need in the language that you are most comfortable with. PsyMood considers cultural background, geographical location, interests, and personal needs, amongst other factors, to pair you with service providers for online or in-person therapy sessions.

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