Media Posts

Recent Media Posts


Accessing Mental Health Services for Newcomers in Alberta

Thank you to everyone who attended our webinar on Sep. 12, to discuss the key findings and recommendations of the Accessing Mental Health Services for Newcomers in Alberta Environmental Scan. 

With funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), this project was carried out in collaboration with MMK Research and Consulting.

The scan involves a comprehensive literature review, scan of service providers and services, and 28 in-depth interviews and surveys with immigrants, refugees, and service providers. The report is a strategic resource for Resettlement Assistant Program Providers, health providers, settlement and integration service provider organizations, Sponsorship Agreement Holders, funders, public institutions, and community organizations.

The webinar, hosted by Dr. Michael Kariwo of the University of Alberta, discussed the following:

  • Review of the inventory of mental health programs and services across Alberta, specific to each region, type and level of services provided, and clientele served
  • Key findings: mental health service provision, cultural competency, language and communication barriers, access to and quality of services
  • Recommendations for mental health service providers, immigrant serving agencies, and policy

Watch a recording of the webinar here.

View the PowerPoint presentation here.

Read the full report here. 

Please send your questions, comments, and feedback to:

We would like to thank all study participants who shared their stories with us, and the organizations and funders for their contributions and support to this report. 


Course Announcement: Client Needs Assessment and Action Plans

By Content Contributor: Juhhie Mendiratta

We are excited to announce our new September 2017 course Client Needs Assessment and Action Plans.

This online course is intended to enable settlement practitioners to conduct needs assessments and to assist their clients to develop individualized goals and action plans appropriate to their culture and life experience. The key learning objectives of the course include, but are not limited to, increasing both theoretical and practical knowledge around the best practices, key skills, effective strategies and processes required when conducting client needs assessments, goal setting, and action plans.

This course is one of four required courses for AAISA’s Pre-Service Certificate program. It is designed to provide foundational knowledge of the Canadian settlement and integration sector for newly hired settlement practitioners, as well as settlement professionals planning to transition to the practitioner role.

Delivery Method: Online

Registration: August 8 – August 18, 2017

Dates: September 20 – October 12, 2017

Please be aware that this course is in high demand and registration will be conducted on a first-come-first-served basis.

For inquiries, and to register, email Cynthia Chima with your name and contact information (phone number and email address) before Aug. 18.


Fall Course Announcement

By Content Contributor: Juhhie Mendiratta

We’re pleased to announce the completion of our June course —Managing Practitioner Stress and Burnout. The objective of the online course was to help Settlement Practitioners recognize and identify symptoms of stress and be able to explore, develop, and practice strategies to effectively manage workplace stress.

A few testimonials from learners:

 “The topic and course contents were simple to understand yet very important for the practitioners. The posts on the discussion board were supportive for participants to learn from the knowledge and experience of their peers.”

“Thanks to AAISA team, I had an amazing online experience and learned so much about stress, burnouts, and self-care.”

“It was a wonderful learning opportunity for managing stress in life. I learned a lot through this course which will help me at my workplace as well in my personal life.”

Learners identified three major learnings from the course, including: developing a positive attitude to stress, stress management techniques, and commitment to self-care practice.

This course will be delivered again in 2018!

Upcoming Courses Fall 2017

2I Client Needs Assessment and Action Plan is an online module designed to enable Settlement Practitioners to conduct needs assessment and assist clients in developing individualized goals and action plans.

Delivery: Online

Course dates: September 20 – October 12, 2017

2F Basic Counselling skills in Cross-Cultural Context is part of AAISA’s pre-service certificate. The main objective of the course is to aid Settlement Practitioners define their counselling role with the clients they serve, and to help them recognize and develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge to be effective in that role.

Delivery: Online

Course dates: September/October 2017

For a full list of AAISA courses and course descriptions click here.



July 7, 2017

Adaptation et défis : bilan des premières années des réfugiés syriens en Alberta

CBC Radio-Canada Edmonton: Dans l’ensemble, les réfugiés syriens arrivés en Alberta en 2015 et 2016 s’adaptent très bien et considèrent le Canada comme leur nouvelle demeure, conclut une étude réalisée par l’Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies. Par contre, apprendre l’anglais, s’adapter à la différence de culture et trouver un emploi adapté sont souvent des défis importants, explique Stephanie Kot, directrice de la recherche et des politiques de l’Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies.


Syrian Refugees Making Connections, Eager to Work: Study


Calgary/Edmonton, Alberta – July 4, 2017:  Perhaps no group of Canadians was as excited to celebrate the country’s 150th birthday last week than the Syrian refugees who now call Alberta home. A new study suggests that most of these new Canadians are beginning to make a new life for themselves establishing new friendships and social connections as they work to make a successful transition into Canadian life.

The Alberta Syrian Refugee Resettlement Experience Study was undertaken by the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA) and carried out in collaboration with HABITUS Consulting Collective, and Dr. Julie Drolet, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary…

Read the media release and backgrounder here.

Read the full report here.


Feb.13, 2017

Forum focuses on success of refugees

Lethbridge HeraldNow that they’ve settled into their new lives in Alberta, how are our Syrian refugees doing? That was the focus of a community forum held here last week. The Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies held its fifth and final session here to hear about the experiences of Syrian refugees who call Lethbridge home. The results of the study are expected to shed light on their specific needs, barriers and experiences.

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