IMPACT SERIES: This Agency Builds Resiliency in Peel Region
Mental health, youth programming, and newcomer support services - this resilient agency ensures that newcomers to Peel don’t give up, no matter what they’re going through. They’ve been around since 1987, aiming to connect newcomers to the best possible future right here in Peel Region.
Drumroll, please, for this incredible agency!
Brampton Multicultural Community Centre (BMC) supports newcomers dealing with daily stresses, and ultimately, helps anyone new to Peel Region feel at home here. They’ve dealt with some tough situations, so they really know their stuff.
Here’s what their manager of programs and services, Salima Tejani, has to tell you:
“It was when Ana was on the verge of giving up that she came to know about the services at BMC and sought our help and guidance.
Ana was a refugee who escaped from her country because she and her 10 year old daughter were compelled by their tribe to go through the process of genital mutilation. She was new to Canada and lacking social support, which made her feel anxious and socially isolated.
Her husband went back to Nigeria shortly after landing in Canada to sell their house. Selling property back home was also stressful for the client because they spent their savings in making that house, but they couldn’t live there. Ana was at a loss of what to do and which way to move.
Frustrations and disappointments are common experience for newly landed immigrants, but more so for refugees because of their past and ongoing experiences and migration process. Along with dealing with stressors associated with refugee status and resettlement, Ana was stressed and worried about disclosing her sexual identity. She is bisexual and was not comfortable in disclosing it to new people and in new atmosphere.
After few sessions of counselling at BMC, Ana started feeling better and her negative thinking pattern converted into positive thinking. She was more educated about the LGBTQ community and her fear of disclosing her sexual identity was reduced. After few sessions, the client reported she was feeling calm and felt more familiar with things around her. The client expressed that her children were settling down and she had started exploring options of growth and development in the new country.
Today, Ana is studying at a local college to update her education. She feels happy, more engaged in the community, and more in control of her emotions.
Mind Your Health (MYH) program at BMC is funded by United Way, which provides support to many immigrants like Ana who are dealing with day-to-day stresses. Assessment, referrals, peer support groups, and supportive counselling offered by MYH have helped many people like Ana to enhance their ability to cope with change, regain lost resilience, and cope with the emotional and psychological distress posed by challenging times. It is a satisfying and rewarding experience for BMC to see people moving from depth of hopelessness and helplessness to hope, courage, and strength.
MYH is one of the many programs offered by BMC with the mandate and central purpose to disadvantaged individuals, families, and groups in the community, and in particular newcomers, to achieve their potential, improve their life chances and build their futures.
With over 30 years of direct experience serving a very diverse and multicultural community, BMC’s core programs and services focus on helping newcomers, immigrants, and refugees break barriers, and acquire information, skills, and connections to help them in their settlement process and facilitate their integration into Canadian society.
All of BMC’s services are provided in a culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate manner and in a client’s own language where possible. Services are delivered within an anti-oppressive framework discouraging labeling, stigma, and exclusion, and promoting values of equity, inclusion, and empowerment at all levels and in all situations. Furthermore, BMC practices are collaborative and recognize that each client is the expert in their own life.
In conclusion, BMC wishes to thank United Way for the support and funding that has enabled BMC to play a significant role in raising awareness and reducing stigma about mental health in the Peel community. BMC continues to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with personal or interpersonal problems, unfulfilling long-term relationships, low self-esteem, emotional abuse, stress, depression, anxiety, conflict, parenting issues, and workplace stress. Without United Way, BMC could not have transformed many lives struggling to live their Canadian dream.”
When you give to United Way, you allow BMC to run their programs across the community!
Register for our Campaign Kick-off on September 15 here.