Chapter 3: Migration-Related Trauma and Refugee Mental Health in the Canadian Resettlement Sector



Migration includes many stressors during all stages (pre-, during, and post-migration). Many of those stressors can be traumatic and are referred to as “migration-related trauma.” People experience trauma from a very individualized perspective owing to a combination of factors, including personality, family and personal values, and cultural norms.

Forced migration is highly correlated with migration-related trauma, but forced migration is a debated concept. International and national laws currently recognize migrants forced to move because of political conflict. Those migrants are called refugees. People forced to move because of other factors, such as climate change, are not yet recognized in any international laws. Many scholars, policymakers, and forced-migration advocates think that environmental factors should be recognized as drivers of forced migration.

Canada has refugee resettlement programs specifically structured to support the most vulnerable refugees, often those who have experienced significant migration-related trauma. There are many stakeholders involved in Canada’s refugee resettlement programs. Collaboration among them can require extra coordination to prevent stakeholders themselves from creating further stressors for the newcomers they are supporting. Newcomers with migration-related trauma experiences may have significant challenges accessing mental health supports in Canada because of language barriers, location of services, or mental health professionals’ level of experience with war or torture-related trauma. “Resilient” is a term used to describe migrants who appear to cope and recover from traumatic experiences. Resilience can come from personality, social networks, stable relationships, and stable living conditions. Post-migration stressors have the strongest correlation with newcomer mental health.

Summary Activity

The following questions are designed to give you a chance to review and check how well you recall the information from this chapter.

The questions are multiple choice and true/false. Some ask you to identify the best possible answer, whereas others ask you to choose multiple possible best answers. True/false questions ask you to identify whether a statement is true or false.

When you have completed the questions, you will be able to see all your results compared to the correct responses. You can go back and redo the activity as many times as you like.

Choose all the best possible answers:


Choose whether the following statements are True or False.


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