Newcomer Wellness Services Centre Client Support Services and Mental Health Services
Ramy Abaalkayel, Aida Abdullah, Nadiya Ali, Fared Dawood, Lena De Nicola, Ferozan Fariad, Negham Fawaz, Myriam Garcia, Seham Hassan, Brigita Katona, Siza Krikor, Elsa Lopez, Mostafa Moshtaghi, Talin Nersessian, Asma Sleihat, Fatemah Veisi, Khadija Youssef
The goal of this team is to provide mobile, wrap-around, empowerment-based intensive case management and clinical mental health services to government-assisted refugees in the GTA. The team has always demonstrated consistent commitment to the refugees they serve. However, since 2015, the team has surpassed everyone’s expectations.
Between November 2015 and March 2016, over 2,000 Syrian refugees arrived and were placed in COSTI’s care — more than 2.5 times above target. The team grew exponentially and so too did their workload: a Mental Health Counselor came on board, caseloads grew to 120 families per staff member and the team quickly swelled to 36 staff. The team were champions – not only did they support each other’s work and morale, they welcomed new staff as if they were part of the family, and their open arms provided support to junior staff members.
The team was still serving the increased caseload of Syrian refugees when Yazidi clients began to arrive in February 2017. But nothing could have prepared them for the work that was ahead. The Yazidi refugees, who had just fled ISIS before coming to Canada, brought new challenges due to lack of available interpreters, the severity of the trauma they had endured, and special severe medical issues that Canadian doctors were at a loss to treat. Despite the challenges this team faced, they rallied, providing support to each other and our clients and partners. In the face of the seemingly insurmountable, this team is tops.
2019 Greater Toronto Bhayana Family Foundation Awards
Recognizing the extraordinary staff of United Way-funded agencies who make a difference every day.
Date: Monday, November 18, 2019
Venue: The Old Mill
Keynote: Deb Matthews, Former Deputy Premier of Ontario
Attendees: MP Julie Dzerowicz, MP Majid Jowhari, MP James Maloney, MP Maninder Sidhu, MP Arif Virani, MPP Daisy Wai, former Senator Dr. Asha Seth, former MP Harinder Malhi, former Councillor David Cohen
Local Change Makers Celebrated
It’s a sector that reinforces crucial community safety net, but the people working the front-lines of the GTA’s community agencies don’t often get the public appreciation they so deserve. The Bhayana Family Foundation Awards recognize extraordinary contributions made by frontline staff and middle managers who are tackling #UNIGNORABLE local issues at United Way Greater Toronto-supported agencies.
On November 18, winners were awarded for helping and people and their communities thrive through their dedication, innovation and creativity, leadership, teamwork and partnership.