Having recognized the need for and interest in transcultural mental health, the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences has developed a Division of Global Mental Health. The work of this division provides residents and faculty with the opportunity to experience Global Mental Health activities at local, national and international levels as it pertains to clinical service, systems design, research, educational capacity building and administration.
Nationally, Hamilton has the third largest proportion of non-Canadian born community members (i.e., over 20% of the population). Within this constellation of Hamilton citizens, 13.6 % of the population is made up of visible minorities. There is also a substantial Aboriginal community with the Six Nations Reserve only 30 minutes outside of the city centre. As well, there is a large French community with francophone schools and a francophone community centre.
All members of the community are served by clinical programs in Hamilton. Additionally, there are some programs specifically designed to meet the needs of particular population groups. Residents are able to participate in all of these programs. These programs include:
- REFUGE: Newcomer Clinic – monthly non-profit clinic run by a psychiatrist for refugees and immigrants new to Hamilton
- 2 Family Health Teams have now expanded into two high schools with high immigrant and refugee populations. These FHTs provide direct psychiatry service at local high schools.
International Global Mental Health Opportunities primarily include working in collaboration with the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) to build educational capacity within the Department of Psychiatry. Specific efforts include the development and delivery of psychiatry curricula for this newly developed postgraduate program in Uganda. Faculty-resident pairs travel to Uganda several times throughout the year to provide direct education to the Ugandan postgraduate learns and their interdisciplinary teams, clinical supervision and educational capacity building at at faculty level. Committee work in Hamilton is conducted on a routine basis to ensure partnership growth and development in an ethical and evidence informed manner.
Faculty from McMaster University have also been involved in mental health education efforts in Guyana.