Feds announce $1M mental health grant for South Asian youth in Mississauga and Brampton


Published March 16, 2023 at 12:51 pm

mental health mississauga
Minister of Seniors Kamal Khera announced $1 million for mental health services at Indus Community Services in Mississauga on March 16.

A $1 million federal funding boost will help a Mississauga organization provide mental health services for South Asian communities in Peel Region.

Kamal Khera, Minister of Seniors and MP for Brampton West, announced $1 million in funding to Indus Community Services, a Peel not-for-profit organization that provides culturally appropriate services to newcomers, families, women and seniors.

Khera made the announcement on behalf of Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health.

The funding will help provide mental health support to newcomers, international students, and refugee youth and younger adults in Peel Region’s South Asian communities.

In particular, it will fund a project “Boost Wellness of Transitional Age Youth”, which aims to support approximately 1,000 youth and younger adults through education and supportive services with an emphasis on reducing isolation, fostering social connections, and promoting mental health and healing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic recovery.

The Boost Wellness project will provide much-needed culturally appropriate mental health support to racialized youth who lack access to services in Peel, said Gurpreet Malhotra, CEO, Indus Community Services.

There are now more than 537,000 South Asian people in Peel Region, Malhotra added.

During the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peel Region was one of the most locked-down regions in North America, Malhotra said. And the pandemic had major mental health impacts on youth in Peel, particularly racialized youth, he said.

“In addition, international students and refugee youth often feel forgotten by those who bring them and face enormous personal pressures,” said Malhotra.

Khera added newcomers to Canada face many challenges when they first arrive and are adjusting to their new home.

“Starting a new life can be extremely overwhelming, isolating and stressful.”

And the pandemic added to these stresses, Khera added.

It’s hoped the funding will help support youth who often “fall through the cracks” when trying to get mental health services.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising