Resources for Refugees, Migrants and Newcomers to Canada
This past week, the world witnessed the heartbreaking events of greater Taliban occupation unfold in Afghanistan, after a twenty-year-old war in the region. This has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Afghani people forced to leave their homes for their own safety with the hopes of resettling countries across the world, including Canada.
At PsyMood, a mental health service created by immigrants, for immigrants, we can understand how daunting relocating in a foreign country can be.
However, across Canada there are a variety of resettlement resources and services available to newcomers, refugees and migrants.
Settlement and Skills
The Afghan women’s organization refugee and immigrant services is one of the many non-profit organizations currently offering in-person (Toronto based) and weekly online settlement workshops for Afghani immigrants and refugees to assist in gaining advice for Canadian citizenship, learning conversational English, computer classes and more.
Arriving in a new country can also involve legal complications and finding legal advice that is reputable and affordable can be a challenge. Options Community Services Society works to aid those in vulnerable situations, offering workshops monthly on Provincial/Federal disability benefits, income support programs as well as managing debt from the perspective of a legal advisor.
Learning Local Languages
One of the biggest challenges of relocating to a foreign country is unfamiliarity with the local language. The Canadian government offers free English and French language classes to protected persons and refugees. These classes are called Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC for English) and Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada (CLIC pour le francias). These classes are available at various locations across the country. The Newcomer Services by Immigration Canada website is a great resource to find language classes based on location.
For those located on the West Coast, The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria offers free English classes to those over the age of 17 as well as settlement workshops to assist newcomers form communities and create a support network.
There are several programs available at a national and provincial level that are intended to support refugees to establish a life in Canada.
Refugees selected for resettlement have access to immigration loans that can be used to cover costs for transportation to Canada as well other relocation costs that arise in the country. For more information on eligibility and loan amounts, visit the Immigration Loans Programs website for more information.
The Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) provides access to essential services, start-up allowances and monthly income support for resettled refugees. The purpose of this program is to provide support for refugees as they establish their lives in their new homes. These financial supplements can be put towards housing, transportation, food, education and maternity or infant needs. Eligibility and finding amounts are dependent on the province. The RAP website has a detailed breakdown for funding components and amounts based on province.
Navigating a new life in a new country can be a challenge especially when starting from scratch. We know that financial and job stability is essential for establishing a home anywhere. Across Canada there are a diverse number of non-profit organizations that assist immigrants from across the world gain skills and offer assistance with employment opportunities.
In Greater Victoria, British Columbia, The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria offers training programs to help place newcomers to Canada into their chosen fields of work.
DiverseCity, also located in British Columbia, offers employability programs to help new migrants to Canada gain skills and employment within their desired job roles, teaching newcomers everything they need to know about the Canadian labour market and how to successfully complete the application and interview process.
At PsyMood, we understand first hand the events migrants experience in relocating to a new country whether alone or with family. Relocating during times of crisis as a refugee can cause significant distress. PsyMood prides itself on providing online and affordable diverse mental health support for newcomers to Canada by matching our users to mental health specialists that understand their culture and speak their native language. You can start your free no obligation introductory session today.
If you feel the need to talk to someone about your mental health, PsyMood is here for you. Our mental health specialists can speak your language and understand your culture. Sign up today to speak with a specialist. We offer sessions at any time, anyplace!