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Immigration and The Loneliness Epidemic: Challenges Women Newcomers Are Facing (& How To Overcome Them)

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How Can Women Newcomers Develop Stronger Networks?

Improve your English or French language skills

Women immigrants who speak English or French have more close friends and acquaintances than those who did not. This makes sense, since speaking an official language really broadens the number of people you’re able to communicate with in Canada. 

If you do not have a good working knowledge of English or French, it’s worthwhile taking classes to improve, or just immersing yourself in activities, such as team sports or book clubs, where you interact with others in English or French. This is likely to have a significant impact on your social networks in Canada over time.  

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Consider learning a trade

Immigrant women who received a trades certificate or diploma had, on average, more close friends and acquaintances than similar Canadian-born women. If you’re in a position to learn a trade in Canada, this may help you build strong networks as a newcomer. (Plus, Canada needs skilled tradespeople, so there are excellent job prospects and potential for high earnings!)

Know that it will likely get better in time

Finally, bear in mind that (on average) women immigrants who have lived in Canada for six or more years tend to have similar numbers of close friends to similar Canadian-born women. In other words, this too shall pass – and in just a matter of years, you are likely to have close friends to lean on. 

Seek support if your mental health is suffering

Experiencing some mental health challenges is a normal part of immigrating to Canada. Even developing mental illness is not uncommon, due to the stressors you may experience during such a big life adjustment. We published a video highlighting the state of mental health for newcomers, check it out:

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If you need additional coverage to seek mental health treatment, consider our partner Cigna. Get your free quote for health insurance from Cigna.

Understand the importance of acquaintances – and make an effort to make these connections

With very few exceptions, immigrant women tend to have fewer acquaintances than similar Canadian-born women. This matters because higher numbers of acquaintances gives you more social capital, which can increase your chances of upwards career mobility and higher earnings. 

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You can read our guide to networking for tips to network in Canada. 

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