A new online mental-health resource for new Canadians, First Nations people, members of Canada’s cultural communities and other diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds will be administered by some of Montreal’s top psychiatric minds and funded by a grant from Bell Let’s Talk.
The Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre (MMHRC) is a joint initiative spearheaded by researchers at McGill's Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, The Neuro and the Lady Davis Institute. The resource will be headed by Dr. Lawrence Kirmayer, a pioneering researcher in the field of transcultural psychiatry.
Kirmayer said getting mental-health care delivered in a culturally appropriate manner is the goal of the MMHRC
"Addressing issues of language, culture, religion and other aspects of diversity, the MMHRC will promote greater equity in mental health care," said Dr. Kirmayer. "Mental health is often viewed differently in different cultures, which requires culturally responsive approaches to meet the needs of those seeking help. With the generous support of Bell Let's Talk, we have drawn on our extensive research to strengthen and develop our online platform in order to better reach out to those in need and make this resource more accessible," he said.
The grant from Bell is for $250,000 and is part of Bell’s commitment to mental-health initiatives across the country, said the chair of the campaign.
"Our partnership with McGill University and its affiliated hospitals to increase access to mental health services in multiple languages reflects the Bell Let's Talk commitment to support culturally informed mental health supports for diverse communities," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "We're proud to play a role in making it easier for people from a wide range of communities to get the help they need and to provide health professionals all over Canada with resources to better help their patients. This new website with its practical tools and videos will make a real difference for so many living with mental illness."
The MMHRC could not have come at a better time for those it purports to serve. With minority communities disproportionally affected by the global pandemic, the MMHRC will provide a timely and critical new resource.
In a statement, the MMHRC said ‘when COVID-19 is brought under control and out-patient visits to hospitals resume, interactive kiosks at The Neuro and the Jewish General Hospital will be available where patients and clinical staff can consult the website. In the meantime, the importance of online tools has increased with the mental health challenges COVID-19 has meant for many people. The pandemic's impact on cultural communities has been particularly devastating, both in terms of the disproportionate physical toll it has taken, and the associated mental and emotional effects.’
For more information on the resource, visit www. https://multiculturalmentalhealth.ca/