Syrian Health and the Canadian Response

 A comprehensive lists of recent research and resources to enable Canadian health providers with the most culturally centred approaches for health care.


Government Resources for Healthcare Providers

How to Register as a Provider for IFHP (Interim Federal Health Program)

If you are a health provider and are interested in being a part of the IFHP for Syrian refugees, the process to register and questions regarding IFHP are found in the site. 

IFHP General Questions and Answers – September 2016 Update

For many providers, IFHP is a new model of healthcare for refugees. The procedures and policies are restored from the 2012 levels of coverage. This link provides an extensive list of common questions and answers for both health providers and settlement workers.

Emotional and Psychological Health for Traumatized Syrians

Culture, Context, and the Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing of Syrians
Key Words: UNHCR, cultural sensitivity, PTSD, trauma, psychological wellbeing

A cultural study conducted by the UNHCR, this report exposes the reality of trauma by which most Syrian refugees have faced. In great detail, this report is beneficial for health providers to understand how to have sensitive conversations, the stigmas Syrians have surrounding mental health and how to regard Syrian culture in health integration.  

Syrian Refugee Research within the Canadian Context
Key Words: parenting, settlement, mental health, social engagement

Access Alliance has created a research and knowledge sharing hub for information regarding refugee settlement within Canada. This Canadian context based research will be instrumental in helping settlement agencies and the ministries provide perspective of Syrian newcomers as they integrate among Canadian laws, policy and standards. As of now, most of the topics are pilot research projects. However, the research is soon to be allocated and shared starting in the spring of 2017.

Pan-Canadian Roundtable on Supporting the Mental Health of Refugees in Canada
Key Words: community development, partnership, refugee support, mental health

The Mental Health Commission of Canada met with major refugee organizations to gather perspective, input and information regarding the mental health and settlement of Syrian refugees. Topics include refugee settlement in Canada, policies for government sponsored refugees, promising practices, and mental health among generational participants. 

EMDR for Syrian Refugees with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: Results of a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
Key Words: PTSD, trauma, EMDR exercise, UNHCR

Two groups were assessed for this study. The control group was a wait-listed group of people who would wait until counseling/psychologist teams could give them help. The other group consisted of a combination of randomly selected participants with a few selected ones. All participants had attested to struggling with symptoms of PTSD. The use of EMDR among the random group proved to be very effective. Within 11-weeks of participating in EMDR treatment, depression and PTSD were drastically reduced. The methods were culturally sensitive and contingent on the comfort ability and cultural respects.

Enhancing Need Satisfaction to Reduce Psychological Distress in Syrian Refugees
Key Words: self-determination theory, depression, self-reporting

Conducted in Jordan, at a refugee camp, this needs-based assessment asked participants to involve themselves with a varied list of activities based on what they wanted to do. This qualitative study showed that when refugees are given a choice that befits their desires (needs of not feeling isolated, close to family, etc.), their stress and depression decreases and they are able to engage with their loved ones and pursue mental health healing.

Cultural Awareness and Interpretive Resources

National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services
Key Words: language, interpreting, interpersonal skills, literacy, boundaries

This report conducted by the Healthcare Interpretation Network (HIN) is a very beneficial tool for healthcare providers to enable cultural sensitivity, professional boundaries, and role definition of interpreter within the healthcare setting. Most all healthcare providers will work with an interpreter while assisting Syrian refugees. The information collaborated by the HIN will be very beneficial to healthcare providers.