I came across an article online that discusses the challenges immigrants face when they come to our country. It also discusses the reality of some immigrants developing depression or another mental illness after coming to our country. The immigration process can take a different toll on each individual and they may react or deal with the challenges differently. When you immigrate to Canada you are not covered under our healthcare until you have become a Canadian citizen. For those that come to Canada either with a mental illness or those who develop a mental illness will have to pay for their healthcare out of their own pocket. I can imagine that some who immigrate are already tight on cash and may not have the extra money to pay for prescriptions or other coping treatments for their illness. Not only are some immigrants struggling to survive financially they are also trying to adjust and learn a new way of life. This can add stresses that they have never felt before. How can we help those who are struggling with these issues?
This article also brings up a very strong point of another challenge immigrants face, it is the diagnosis of their illness. It seems it is difficult to diagnose individuals when there is a shortage of psychiatrists that can supply them with the proper diagnosis. The only way to fix that is to hire more psychiatrists but that takes time. What about those that are in need now? Often the family may suffer as well when an individual is not properly diagnosed. Either the individual is afraid of getting assistance due to the unfamiliarity of their new symptoms and emotions so it is up to the family to provide that support and care. Often immigrants come alone to a new country and their family travels over at a different time, so up until the family gets here that individual is alone in unfamiliar land.
The government needs to put in place policies and assistance for those who are in need. Canada is a proud country and is proud of the freedom we have, it’s no wonder that so many immigrants seek out Canada to call their new home. We pride ourselves on the different cultures and groups we have here. It has made our country what it is today. I think it is sad that the mentally ill can be forgotten and pushed to the back while others are taken care of. There are immigrants that enter Canada in hopes of a fresh start and a new life but may face new struggles and instead of having a happier life, will have an even harder and challenging life than before, for many reasons. We need to have resources in place not only for healthcare assistance but also for support for the families and individual.
Immigrants' Mental Health In Spotlight. (2010, September 10). CBC News. Retrieved November 11, 2010, from http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2010/09/10/ott-immigrant-mental-health.html.