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Have you been feeling lonely after moving to Canada? So many newcomers to Canada have felt the exact same way.

Undergoing a significant life change like a new job or an international move can easily cause uncertainty and anxiety, and many new Canadians do both simultaneously, especially if they’re coming to Canada on a work permit.

Even if you’re coming to Canada with your nuclear or extended family, it’s normal to feel lonely as you adjust to life in a new city and culture. The immigration process can be mentally, emotionally, and financially draining, and many new Canadians aren’t sure where they can turn for assistance.

Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you deal with these very understandable feelings of loneliness. You don’t have to go through it alone. There is robust mental health and community support throughout Canada, which is accessible to all residents, regardless of their age, background, or immigration status.

Mental Health Support in the Canadian Healthcare System

If you feel like your loneliness is linked to or exacerbated by a mental health concern, you should seek professional mental health care.

In Canada, mental health care is available through a variety of channels. The majority of Canadian mental health clinicians operate in private practice. Their services are offered to anyone but are typically not eligible to be covered under provincial healthcare plans.

Many of these mental health clinicians, like therapists or social workers, price their services on a sliding scale, offering different per-session prices depending on the client’s income level and the services they require. For example, marital or family therapy is often priced differently than a session with an individual client.

In addition to the many clinicians operating in private practice, there are robust mental health supports available to Canadians in hospitals and other inpatient settings. These clinicians focus on treating mental health concerns but may also be able to prescribe medications like antidepressants.

Exploring Coverage for Mental Health Care in Canada

In Canada, getting mental health care covered depends on various factors.

Different provinces have different rules, but generally, outpatient therapy that takes place in a private setting is not covered under provincial health plans. However, if an individual is cared for by a psychiatrist or psychotherapist in a hospital or other inpatient setting like a doctor’s office, the care may be covered.

Additionally, if you get a referral to a psychiatrist through your doctor, this care may be covered under your provincial health plan. However, wait times for these referral slots can range from weeks to months.

Some provinces and groups also offer subsidized mental health care through community clinics and centres designed to assist a particular population, like LGBTQ+ Canadians or people experiencing homelessness.

Private health insurance

If you have a private health insurance plan through an employer, union, or school, be sure to look up what mental health benefits you may have. Many private health insurance plans offer a set amount of money to be put toward mental health care.

If you’re unsure of what to look for in a private health insurance plan, our friends at Cigna can help. Check out their site today for a quick and easy quote for health insurance that works for your needs.

Tips for How to Deal with Loneliness

Depending on your situation and your mental health needs, you may be able to work through your feelings of loneliness without professional assistance. Regardless of what you choose to do, there are lots of resources available that can help.

Here are some of our tips on how to deal with any loneliness you may feel after moving to Canada.


A great way to find and immerse yourself in a community in Canada is through volunteer work. Many researchers have found that volunteer work helps to improve our overall health and can even mitigate feelings of loneliness.

There are lots of different ways to find volunteer opportunities in your community:

  • Check out a site like VolunteerMatch or Volunteer Canada
  • Skim through local newspapers or magazines
  • Call a local volunteer centre or even your MPP or MP’s office
  • Reach out to community organizations directly to ask if they need volunteers


Journaling is a great way to connect with your feelings and understand why you feel the way you do. Writing down and exploring your feelings can help you feel calmer and make it easier to move past negative emotions that may be holding you back.

Connect with other new Canadians

Moving to Canada can be a huge change, and no one understands that better than other new Canadians. If you’re feeling lonely, take some time to find and connect with other new Canadians.

This resource from the Canadian government makes it easy to find newcomer services in your area.

Explore your new home

Once you’ve got all the essentials taken care of, your routine can easily keep you close to home. To help combat your loneliness, make sure you take time to have fun and explore your new home! This could be anything from driving through a new part of town to taking a weekly class at the local community centre.

Get Support After Your Move to Canada

Moving to a new home can be a profoundly emotional experience. Make sure to take care of yourself and surround yourself with support to ensure you can thrive once you’re living on Canadian soil. There are lots of community resources that can help you make new friends and find work and volunteer experience that will make you feel more at home.

Protecting yourself with private health insurance is a great way to ensure you’re able to start your time in Canada off on the right foot. Cigna can help you get started, so check out their site today for a free quote.

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