Supporting Refugee Youth’s Integration in Canada
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Canada is a country that has resettled a high number of refugees from around the world. Canada cannot reverse the events and traumas that refugee youth have experienced before arriving, but it can expand and continue to implement programs that will help them achieve a successful integration. A complex mixture of demographics such as age, gender, cultural identity, exposure to traumatic events, and other pre- and post-migration experiences can greatly influence youth in their development and mental health. The purpose of this research project is to serve as a tool for those in charge of designing programs to support refugee youth in their integration in Canada, including creating appropriate training for teachers for better overall support. Finding avenues to give refugee youth a voice can facilitate the understanding of their needs, and involving them in the process of designing programs can help better target such needs. The implications for clinical practice are important such as culturally competent counselling and continuous evaluation of current interventions to reduce symptoms and mental health challenges faced by refugee youth. Suggested next steps for research include more insight into refugee youths’ pre-migration experiences, coping strategies, the effectiveness of current counselling interventions, and how refugee youth receive and respond to treatment. Future research should target holistic studies that look at a diverse group of refugee youth in Canada, and include their mental health challenges, prevalence rates, access to mental health supports, and the influence of family dynamics.