Determinants of mental health for newcomer youth: Policy and service implications

There is a lack of Canadian research on the mental health of newcomer youth. To fill this gap, researchers undertook a study that looked at the social determinants of newcomer youth mental health. 

To find out about their results read EENet's Research Report Round-up of the report, “The real cost of homelessness: Can we save money by doing the right thing?”

Research Report Round-ups are brief summaries of research reports, presented in a user-friendly format.

Read it below or download the PDF.

Title and link to report: Determinants of Mental Health for Newcomer Youth: Policy and Service Implications

Authors: Yogendra B. Shakya, Nazilla Khanlou, Tahira Gonsalves

Year: 2010

Location: Toronto
Type of study: Survey and focus groups

Key words: Newcomer, youth, mental health, community, family, services, determinants of health, descrimination
Language of report: English

What this report is about

This report, based on a study of newcomer youth living in four areas of Toronto, looks at the economic and social conditions that shape their mental health and reflects on policy implications. The youth reported the following:

  • Stressors and challenges linked to their settlement – Newcomer youth face stressors and challenges that affect their mental health, including challenges with learning English, entering the labor market, adjusting to the education system, and accessing information.
  • Systemic discrimination and exclusions are great risks to the social, economic, and mental wellbeing of racialized newcomer youth and their families.

The report’s authors recommend a multipronged approach to promoting the mental health of newcomer youth. policymakers need to:

  1. Proactively address the economic and social conditions that shape the mental health of newcomer youth, particularly those conditions that are linked to settlement and discrimination/exclusion;
  2. Make mental health services more sensitive and accessible to the needs of diverse newcomer communities;
  3. Implement innovative mental health promotion programs that help to overcome stigma and build positive knowledge about mental health issues;
  4. Ensure the settlement and health sectors work collaboratively; and
  5. Put youth empowerment and community development programs in place to build youth leadership and involve newcomer youth meaningfully as agents of change in critical pathways (research, planning, decision making, community building, etc.).

How can this report be used

This report provides useful information for policymakers seeking to improve access to mental health services for newcomers.

Contact person/source:

Access Alliance

mail [at] accessalliance [dot] ca