Newcomer youth can find many supports and services in their communities to help them adapt to their new life and home in Canada. Libraries are often the first point of contact for newcomers. They offer many programs and services designed specifically for youth to engage with. Other organizations are helpful in engaging newcomers with each other to bond over the shared experiences of immigration and settlement. And when life can get difficult, there are places for youth to reach out to — anonymously — for support when needed. We’ve listed 3 supports for immigrant youth below.
1. Library Supports
Libraries throughout BC have programs and services specifically designed to engage youth and connect them to their community. We’ve listed just a few examples and we recommend you reach out to your local library to find out what supports and services are available for youth to connect to.
- The Surrey Libraries offers online resources for homework, book clubs, events for youth, and more.
- The Whistler Public Library offers research and homework help, teen health and wellness, and teen programs.
- The Okanagan Regional Library offers STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) events, as well as homework help and programs to connect youth to others.
2. Community Supports
Many communities throughout BC offer youth newcomers an opportunity to gather, have their voices heard, and create meaningful engagements with their communities. You can search for more programs through our website.
A) The Surrey Youth Newcomer Council (SYNC)
is a community of Surrey youth who are passionate about making the City of Surrey a better place to live in for newcomer youth. Their goals include gathering feedback from youth newcomers, providing career empowerment and job search workshops and utilizing digital media to help them find their community in the City of Surrey. This project is a part of the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership.
offers a variety of programs to help newcomer youth integrate into life in Canada. They offer activities such as Culture Club which gives middle and high school youth an opportunity to engage in intercultural activities and connect with classmates during lunch hour. After-school programs run every weekday, offering homework support, life skills lessons, leadership training, and recreation opportunities. One-to-One Support from a Youth Worker is available for vulnerable youth to help them get their schooling back on track, find employment, housing, medical care, mental health supports and resources, or whatever else they need to achieve their goals.
C) MY (Multicultural Youth) Circle through ISSofBC connects youth (14-24) living in Metro Vancouver to:
- Share stories and struggles.
- Deal with stress related to school, home, work, or being in a new country.
- Make new friends.
- Discuss issues of racism, trauma, discrimination, family conflict, isolation, health and other issues.
- Develop skills to become a community leader.
- Use your skills to help other new immigrant and refugee youth.
offers a variety of programs to help youth connect to their community such as:
- Homework Helper is a free program that matches students with a volunteer who can help them in any subject they need.
- The Landing Spot offers games, activities and sports for youth to make new friends, have fun, and grow in their new community.
- That Thing on Thursdays is an in-person program for teens to make new friends and learn new skills.
- The Q+ Crew helps young people make friends and get the support they need with LGBTQ2S+ volunteers and immigrant, refugee, and BIPOC youth.
3. Mental Health Supports
Youth who are experiencing challenges in their daily lives can access free mental health supports in a variety of ways. Two such supports are the Kids Help Phone and the Foundry.
Kids Help Phone – Youth who are experiencing challenging life experiences can contact the Kids Help Phone 24/7 for free, confidential support. Volunteers offer free, phone counselling services and support to young people who are experiencing bullying and abuse, difficulties with relationships with friends or family, emotional well-being and more. Kids help phone supports youth in their mental health and well -being. Youth can access support in English, French, Ukrainian, Russian, Pashto, Dari, Mandarin and Arabic.
SMS / Text: Text CONNECT to 686868. To stop conversation, text STOP
Foundry offers young people ages 12-24 health and wellness resources, services and supports – online and through integrated service centres in communities across BC. This province-wide network of integrated health and wellness services makes it possible for young people to access five core services in one convenient location: mental health care, substance use services, physical and sexual health care, youth and family peer supports, and social services. There are 13 local Foundry centres, online tools and resources at www.foundrybc.ca Young people can also connect virtually through the free Foundry BC app.