Every newcomer who arrives in Canada will find it challenging to adjust to their new lives. You may come here alone or you may come here with family or friends. You are thrilled to leave the uncertainty and trauma of detention, but you don’t know what waits for you. In addition to the things that most newcomers experience, refugees from PNG and Nauru have faced significant trauma during their period of prolonged detention. This is in addition to the traumas you may have experienced that caused you to flee in the first place. We expect that everyone who arrives will need mental health and trauma supports made available, whether it is to deal with the effects of long-term detention, the stresses of adjusting to a new culture, or the grief and loss of leaving friends behind who are still in detention. Although we are not mental health professionals, your settlement team, Ads Up Canada and MOSAIC will work with you to find appropriate mental health support if you would like it.
There are 3 organizations in Canada who, while not dealing specifically with the effects of long-term detention like you have experienced in Manus or Nauru, work with newcomers who have experienced torture and other forms of organized violence. They are the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) in Toronto, the Vancouver Association for the Survivors of Torture (VAST) and the Intervention Network for Persons Affected by Organized Violence (RIVO) in Montreal. In addition to these organisations, many settlement agencies and local mental health providers may offer counselling for newcomers, often in the language that you request. This site, run by the Canadian Mental Health Association, is a good place to start . It lists multilingual mental health services, settlement services and survivor-run initiatives. This website, by the Multicultural Mental Health Centre, also provides a great number of resources listed by language, including Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Punjabi, Somali, Tamil and Urdu.