Preparing for the arrival of Syrian refugees in our community

Since opening our doors in 2002, Sherbourne Health has provided health care services and support to newcomers to Canada, including refugees. We recognize the pivotal role that access to health services, including chronic illness management and mental health support, plays in the integration of refugees into their new community.

As we prepare to welcome Syrian refugees to Toronto in the coming days, weeks, and months, our health care providers are planning and coordinating services to ensure access to appropriate care for refugees upon their arrival. Sherbourne Health is committed to working with this newcomer priority population both individually and in coordination with a network of providers throughout the GTA. At our Centre, we will be providing the following services:

Primary Care: We commit to taking on at least 30-40 primary care clients in the immediate future. Following this initial intake, we will review our capacity and the need for our services moving forward. Use of telephone interpretation services for primary care will be needed. Clients will have access to settlement services through our partnership with Thorncliffe Neighborhood Office.

Mental Health: Counseling services will be available to refugees. Onsite mental health access will follow our standard intake process, with Syrian refugees placed on the high priority list. We are providing orientation to our counselors regarding how to work with interpreters in the context of a counseling session.

LGBTQ services: Refugees who identify as LGBTQ youth (ages 15-29) will have access to relevant Supporting Our Youth (SOY) programs and groups such as Express, our SOY group that serves LGBTQ newcomer youth. They will have access to a settlement worker through our partnership with Griffin Centre.

Diabetes Education Program Services: Refugees with Diabetes will have access to a nurse and dietitian from the Diabetes Education Program.  There will also be access to a community dietitian through our Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Program.

Health Access St. James Town: Health Access is a Sherbourne-led partnership initiative which connects St. James Town residents with 15 different organizations who provide health and social services. For refugees settling in St. James Town, coordinated access to health, mental health, settlement, and social services will be enabled through the intake and client engagement workers at Health Access.

We look forward to working with our community and partner organizations to welcome Syrian refugees.


For more information, please contact:

Services Information: 
Nalini Pandalangat,
Director of Newcomer Services

Katie Raso,
Communications Officer