officials of the Psychological Services and Research Centre and the Multicultural Council of Windsor-EssexA partnership between the Psychological Services and Research Centre and the Multicultural Council of Windsor-Essex provides free mental health services to refugees in and around Windsor.

Psychotherapy practicum serving refugees in the Windsor region

Through a partnership with the Multicultural Council of Windsor-Essex, the Psychological Services and Research Centre provides free mental health services for refugees settling in the Windsor area.

The multicultural council is the largest immigrant and refugee resettlement and support service in the region, providing critical supports for refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Honduras, Congo, Zambia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Myanmar, and more.

Many refugees experience significant hardships before and after reaching Canada, including torture, traumas, acculturative stresses, physical health problems, and subsistence needs, presenting wide-ranging and complex mental health concerns.

The Advanced Adult Psychotherapy Practicum, supervised by Chantal Boucher, is a year-long educational experience for doctoral candidates in the clinical psychology program. The multicultural and community-focused training model was initiated by psychology professor Ben Kuo. Students receive intensive training and supervision in culturally sensitive and responsive interventions, with special emphasis on multicultural competencies in clinical practice.

Under the supervision of Dr. Boucher, a licensed clinical psychologist, students work closely with case managers and language interpreters from the multicultural council to provide counselling and psychotherapy services for refugee clients.

Through this practicum, refugee clients struggling with social, cultural, emotional, psychological, and adjustment difficulties receive free mental health services that would otherwise not be available to them.

“We are thrilled to continue this important university-community partnership with the exceptional team at the multicultural council,” says Boucher. “It’s a mutually beneficial collaboration that crucially addresses the unique mental health needs of refugees living in our community, while also providing culturally responsive training for doctoral students who are working to become clinical psychologists.”