The Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) annually invites organizations to submit proposals to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate problem gambling awareness and/or counselling programs and services for immigrants, refugees and ethnocultural populations in Ontario. Each year, we select four projects and award each with a grant of up to $15,000 for the year. (See eligibility criteria)
Evidence shows that immigrants, refugees and ethnocultural populations experience disparities in their access to addiction and mental health services, quality of care and health outcomes. And problem gambling awareness programs designed for the general population are not as effective at reaching ethnocultural communities (Ontario Resource Group on Gambling, Ethnicity and Culture, 2010).
For these reasons, it is critical to include culturally specific or culturally adapted treatment models or interventions for clients from different ethnocultural communities who have gambling problems (PSSP, 2018). Services that respect and respond to the cultural and linguistic needs of diverse groups are effective in improving service use and reducing health inequities (McKenzie et al., 2016).
We issued our most recent call for proposals in February 2022 and are pleased to announce the grant recipients for this year.
Community Family Services of Ontario (CFSO)
CFSO has been providing community and family services to East Asians living in Toronto for over 30 years. They have welcomed and supported many newcomers through various resettlement programs and government initiatives, with specialized supports to vulnerable individuals and families with mental health challenges; addiction issues; family, women or partner violence; justice issues or housing needs. They also offer support, connection and advancement to those living with disabilities and special needs.
Addressing problematic gambling among East Asian Ontarians remains a signature program for CFSO. They provide appropriate treatment and practices through a family-centred cultural lens to address causes, recovery strategy and tools, as well as harm reduction and relapse prevention.
Ethnocultural Response and Intervention of Problem Gambling among East Asian Populations
This project focuses on the Chinese community, including Chinese Ontarians and East Asian newcomers, pathway candidates and refugees alike. The project reach is provincewide.
The main goal of this project is to deliver professional, culturally competent, evidence-based treatment and recovery services that are linguistically and culturally aligned with our population. Programs will be provided in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Tagalog. The funding will enhance our ability to offer counselling, harm reduction and/or abstinence-based program options.
Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services (PICS)
PICS delivers initiatives, activities and services that respond to the varying needs of their clients from South Asian, Polish and Russian communities. Currently, they serve clients in over 20 different languages, including Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Croatian, Dari, Farsi, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Polish, Punjabi, Pashto, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Tamil, Ukrainian and Urdu. They offer programs for children and youth, seniors, immigrants and refugees, people in crisis and people who are unemployed.
PICS has been providing services for problem gambling for over a decade. In 2019, they extended their problem gambling services to the South Asian community by offering counselling in the Urdu language at their Mississauga site.
Problem Gambling Support for Ethnocultural Communities in Ontario
This project will focus on education and treatment for problem gambling. The objectives of the project are to:
- increase awareness of problem gambling and its signs (emotional, behavioral, financial and health) in the Polish, Russian and South Asian communities in the GTA by delivering presentations and using online tools
- provide access to culturally and linguistically appropriate problem gambling counselling to Polish-, Russian-, and Urdu-speaking communities in Toronto and Mississauga.
Responsible Gambling Council (RGC)
RGC is an independent non-profit organization and leader in the prevention of problem gambling in Canada and internationally. RGC supports players and families by empowering those who choose to gamble to make informed choices and educating players about the risks associated with gambling and ways to reduce harm. RGC also helps to connect those affected by gambling problems (their own or their loved ones’) to community supports.
RGC supports operators and regulators by establishing standards and providing accreditation for land-based or Internet gambling. They assist with program development and support, provide advisory and training services for operators and their employees and promote dialogue and best practices.
Problem Gambling Awareness Kit for Newcomers in Ethnocultural Communities
The goal of this project is to update an existing resource kit for newcomers to Canada, their families and professionals working with newcomers in order to prevent the development of problematic gambling. This project will offer information in Chinese, Punjabi and Vietnamese. The project goals are to:
- increase awareness of the risks of gambling for newcomers to Canada and their families
- increase awareness of relevant resources for newcomers to Canada and their families
- increase knowledge of low-risk gambling strategies for newcomers to Canada and their families
- increase knowledge of the elements of Positive Play (e.g., limit setting, dispelling common myths)
- support professionals who work with newcomers by making available a digital resource
- reach 10,000 to 25,000 people in Ontario with the resource kit.
Vasantham offers programs and services to contribute to the holistic well-being of the Tamil community. They offer a range of services, including education and referral, addictions and mental health counselling, crisis intervention and trauma counselling, family support, advocacy, social and recreational activities, community development and capacity building. They offer programs for individuals, families, youth and seniors.
Vasantham has experience working with individuals with problem gambling and children with Internet/video gaming addiction in the Tamil community.
Empowering Parents as Co-therapists: Computer Gaming of Tamil Children
The goal of this project is to offer culturally and linguistically appropriate services (behaviour therapy, education, counselling) to children and adolescents with Internet gaming and gambling addiction and to incorporate their parents as co-therapists in the treatment process. This project will target members of the Tamil community in the GTA with the goal of increasing access to services, reducing and managing problem behaviours and increasing awareness. The focus on involving family members reflects the collectivist approach in the Tamil community.
Eligible initiatives should do at least one of the following:
- provide culturally and linguistically appropriate problem gambling outreach and awareness programs to specific immigrant, refugee and ethnocultural communities in Ontario (e.g., information sharing and community initiatives or events)
- improve access to timely and appropriate services for members of specific immigrant, refugee and ethnocultural communities experiencing problems with their own gambling or that of a family member (e.g., developing a helpline or resources in the first language of the intended community to provide information about problem gambling services and supports)
- provide culturally and linguistically appropriate problem gambling counselling services to specific immigrant, refugee and ethnocultural communities.
To be eligible for funding, organizations must be legally constituted not-for-profits and must provide awareness and/or addiction treatment and support services in Ontario.
Proposals must meet each of the following requirements:
- submit all required documents with the Application for Funding form, including two organizational references for each project team
- plan to provide or already be providing culturally and linguistically appropriate problem gambling awareness and/or counselling programs and services for immigrant, refugee and/or ethnocultural communities
- request no more than $15,000 for the 2022–2023 fiscal year
- have regulated professionals, or professionally designated staff, available onsite or closely affiliated to the organization, if providing counselling programs or services
- obtain, submit proof of and maintain a minimum of $2,000,000 liability insurance throughout the duration of the project
- anticipate potential restrictions in program design and delivery that could result from the Ontario government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Information to note
- Proposals should show evidence of alignment/support with the Ontario Roadmap to Wellness.
- CAMH reserves the right to grant conditional funding dependent on the applicant’s willingness to change project activities and budget.
- Applicants must be willing to do the following:
- participate in monthly project check-ins with a CAMH Project Lead
- meet with CAMH staff, if requested, to review project requirements and progress to date
- enter into a funding agreement with CAMH
- provide quarterly progress reports and a final summary report
- permit their project information to be posted on the GGTU website and newsletter.
- participate in the delivery of a webinar to share information about their project.
The review process includes:
- an initial review of applications for completeness and eligibility
- an interview with the applicant, as required, to obtain clarification on the proposed project and/or application
- a formal rating/score (see proposal evaluation criteria) by the Review Committee to determine the successful candidates.
Calls for proposals are issued annually in January/February with applications due by late March. Successful applicants are notified by April 1 of each year.
Proposal evaluation criteria
Address problem gambling in the intended community
Is there a demonstrated need in the community for the culturally and linguistically appropriate problem gambling awareness and/or counselling program or service?
Is the proposed project clearly articulated?
Is the proposed initiative evidence based?
Is the evaluation plan appropriate and complete?
Is the proposed initiative achievable within the timeframe provided?
Is the proposed initiative provided in the first language of the intended community?
Is the budget clearly articulated?
Is the proposed initiative likely to improve the gambling problems of a person from the specific community?
Can the proposed initiative be implemented under COVID-19 restrictions?
Will there be aspects of the project that can be maintained after the funding ends?
Total possible score
Minimum score required
McKenzie, K., Agic, B., Tuck, A. & Antwi, M. (2016). The case for diversity: Building the case to improve mental health services for immigrant, refugee, ethno-cultural and racialized populations report to the mental health commission of Canada. Mental Health Commission of Canada. Available: https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/wp-content/uploads/drupal/2016-10/case_for_diversity_oct_2016_eng.pdf. Accessed January 27, 2022.
Ontario Resource Group on Gambling, Ethnicity and Culture. (2010). A guide for counsellors: Working with problem gambling clients from ethno-cultural communities. Available: http://icboc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/A-Guide-for-Counsellors-Working-with-Problem-Gambling-Clients-from-Ethno-Cultural-Communities.pdf. Accessed January 26, 2022.
Provincial System Support Program, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2018). Mental health and addictions treatment interventions for immigrant, refugee, ethno-cultural and racialized (IRER) populations in Ontario: Scoping review. Available: https://converge3.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/converge3-evidence-mental-health-irer-treatment-interventions-2018-10-16.pdf. Accessed January 28, 2021.