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By Content Contributor: Juhhie Mendiratta

Every year, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) recognizes the first week of May as Mental Health Awareness Week.  This year, the theme for the week is surviving to thriving. Take time to reflect on your own mental health this week; raise awareness about mental illness, and get loud – advocate for accessible mental health care across Canada – from counselling, to community-based mental health services, and trauma-informed programs and services for immigrants and refugees.

In accordance with this theme, AAISA will soon be releasing an Environmental Scan on newcomer access to mental health services in Alberta. The objective of this project is to advance our understanding of the diversity of mental health services available to immigrants and refugees. The focus of this study is on social and cultural themes including language, cultural relevancy, ethno-cultural identity, and expectations.

In partnering with MMK research and consulting, we are hoping this project will improve access to quality services, inform service mapping and future policy around mental health.

Also in recognition of Mental Health Week, we would like to share that CMHA with the help of the Multicultural Health Brokers, has recently developed a mental health booklet in Arabic! This resource encompasses the areas of mental health for life, post-traumatic stress disorder, supporting loved ones, and getting help during times of stress. The booklet can be found on RefugeeAlberta.ca (pdf).

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