News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

June 12, 2020

Province Announces New Services to Support Newcomers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

– – –
$2.1-Million Investment Provides Increased Mental Health Services for Newcomers and Refugees: Friesen

More than $2.1 million will be invested to provide more community-based trauma services for newcomers and refugees suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.
“Many newcomers to Manitoba have experienced trauma that may significantly impact their new lives in Canada,” said Friesen. “This funding will provide access to ongoing counselling, psychological and psychiatric care to ensure newcomers have the supports they need to heal and build a strong future.”
The investment, to be spread over three years, will be used to create a collaborative and interdisciplinary, community-based newcomer trauma team. The team will serve refugees and other immigrants, and include expertise and services from Shared Health, the Aurora Family Therapy Centre, Family Dynamics and Immigration Partnership Winnipeg as well as staff from Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. 
“This meaningful investment will make it easier for newcomers and refugees to access mental health services, heal from their trauma and lead productive lives,” said John Smyth, executive director, Aurora Family Therapy Centre. “We thank the Manitoba government for supporting such a unique and progressive approach to helping these communities.”
Improved supports for newcomers with severe trauma will contribute to positive health and social outcomes. That includes reduced child welfare involvement, readiness for employment, reduced justice involvement and reduced gang-related activity.
“Improving access to mental health programming will increase the likelihood that newcomers to our province can make a positive contribution,” said Justice Minister Cliff Cullen. “This investment will help those accessing these services make the right decisions, which will reduce crime rates in our communities.”
This investment fulfils a recommendation made in the VIRGO report, which was to enhance and accelerate supports to deal with community-based substance use, addictions and mental health issues for newcomers and refugees, with a focus on post-trauma care. 
Funding for these initiatives is being provided under the Canada-Manitoba Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addictions Services Funding Agreement. In the past eight months, the Manitoba government has committed $33.7 million toward 19 initiatives to improve mental health and addictions services throughout the province. 
- 30 -

Background Information -