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Knowledge Exchange > Health Equity > Working with Immigrants, Refugees & Ethnoracial Communities > About the Settlement and Social Service Providers' Course

About the Settlement and Social Service Providers' Course 

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Select from the following topics to learn more about the Refugee Mental Health course for settlement counselors:

1. Description & Learning Objectives
2. Target Audience
3. Accreditation
4. Time/Date/Location
5. Delivery Method
6. Cost
7. Registration
8. Contact


1. Description & Learning Objectives

This course presents the fundamental concepts of refugee mental health, with a focus on determinants of mental health, common mental disorders and best practices for support. It is designed to provide settlement workers and social social service providers with the necessary information, skills and tools required to identify, screen and support refugee clients with mental health problems.

After successfully completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • identify the key determinants of refugee mental health
  • recognize symptoms of mental health problems in refugees
  • explain the impact of mental illness on families
  • discuss the unique mental health needs of refugee subgroups (children, women, seniors, survivors of torture, refugees with disabilities, LGBTTIQ)
  • demonstrate basic counseling and case-management skills
  • work effectively with interpreters
  • describe principles of trauma-informed care and best practices in mental health promotion
  • apply strategies to prevent burnout and vicarious trauma.

When possible, this course is run concurrently with the Refugee Mental Health course for health care professionals to promote inter-sector and inter-professional collaboration through the online community of practice (CoP). CoP access is granted to all course registrants at the beginning of the course session. 

2. Target Audience

Ontario settlement counselors, social workers and other social service providers working with refugees. This includes professionals in settlement services, youth work, housing, employment, education, social support or community services.

NEW! Enrolment now open to service providers outside of Ontario.

3. Accreditation

This course has been approved as an accredited event by the Office of Continuing Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

4. Time/Date/Location

This online course is self-directed. Participants are expected to complete the online modules at their own pace, within their registered four-week session. Sessions range in date (please see the Course FAQs page for information and registration). There is no formal testing.

5. Delivery Method

Online delivery.

The course consists of seven self-directed online modules, which are open for four weeks.  

The course is self-paced and can be accessed from any computer 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Approximate completion time: eight to twelve hours. Completion times will vary widely. We advise you to begin the course content as soon as you have access, monitor your time needed to complete a module and pace yourself accordingly.

The modules include readings, video clips, supplemental reading materials and a variety of learning activities. Participants are given an opportunity to ask content related questions by posting them in the "Ask an Expert" forum, a course conference area similar to an electronic message board.

A panel of subject-matter experts will be available to answer your questions, provide practical knowledge and practice information:
• Dr. Clare Pain, Director, Psychological Trauma Program, Mount Sinai Hospital; Associate Professor of psychiatry, University of Toronto
• Vanessa Wright, Nurse Practitioner, Crossroads Clinic
• Vince Pietropaolo, General Manager, Mental Health Services Program, COSTI Immigrant Services.

Participants must complete the pretest and the posttest and score 100% on the short review quizzes at the end of each module (unlimited attempts) to be eligible for a letter of completion. The letter of completion, issued by CAMH, will be emailed to eligible participants.

6. Cost

Ontario Settlement and Social Service Providers

Registration is free to Ontario settlement and social service providers. Register here.

NOTE: If you would like to receive the letter of completion, you are required to pay a $15 fee at the end of the course. This fee covers the accreditation cost. Participants eligible to receive the letter will be sent an email within one week after the session end date containing information on how to pay the $15 fee via credit card.

Settlement and Social Service Providers outside of Ontario

The course fee for participants outside of Ontario is $375. Register here.

7. Registration

To register, go to the "How do I register?" section of the Course FAQs page (or scroll up to the registration links in the previous section "6. Cost"). Choose one of the four session dates available; you will be asked to complete an online form with your name, contact information, organization at which you work and your job title/position. 

Once you have registered in the course:

  • please record the course session date you have registered for; you will not receive a confirmation of registration. By having submitted the online registration form please consider yourself registered.
  • you will receive a "welcome" email one week before your session starts. You will receive your login information by email on the first day of your session.

8. Contact

Janet Ngo at or at 416 535-8501 x34483 for course inquiries.

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