Perceptions of mental health and utilization of mental health services among new immigrants in Canada: A qualitative study
Pandey, M., Kamrul, R., Michaels, C.R., & McCarron, M.
The impact of immigration on individuals’ overall health, including mental health, is complex. New immigrants’ concepts of mental health, mental healthcare utilization, and their knowledge of existing services in Regina, Canada were explored using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Three focus groups were conducted with 37 participants recruited from English language classes provided by a non-governmental organization in the city. Irrespective of country of origin, participants recognized the impact of mental health on general wellbeing. Access to existing mental healthcare was hindered by language barriers, inadequate information about existing healthcare services, and individuals’ perceptions about what and when services should be accessed. Despite challenges, participants viewed relocation positively and exhibited resilience when dealing with daily stress. Participants had knowledge gaps surrounding the role of family physicians in managing mental health conditions. Information on ways to access existing healthcare services should be delivered in collaboration with community organizations serving new immigrants.