Transforming Trauma: An Investment in Innovative Digital Therapy Aims to Alleviate PTSD Among Refugees 

September 7, 2023

With an investment of $250,000 from the Northpine Foundation, Savyn Tech Inc. plans to make their pioneering digital therapy technology available to address the critical gap in mental health care faced by refugee newcomers across the country.  

Under the service contract of the investment, Savyn will partner with refugee settlement organizations to offer Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy with the goal of reducing PTSD symptoms among refugees. 

Refugee newcomers to Canada often experience higher rates of psychological distress, with limited access to effective mental health care due to barriers like long wait times, language challenges, and financial constraints. Savyn’s innovative platform offers evidence-based therapies like EMDR, recommended by the World Health Organization, at a fraction of traditional therapy costs. By leveraging digital interventions and self-directed approaches, Savyn has already demonstrated a 60% reduction in PTSD symptoms in a proof-of-concept study. 

Sakeena Mihar, CEO and founder of Savyn Tech, explained her motivation for taking up this initiative. “As a survivor of war myself, I understand the immense challenges refugees face in accessing mental health care. Our platform aims to bridge this gap and provide an accessible solution,” said Mihar. 

Savyn and the Northpine Foundation are in discussions with refugee settlement agencies including the Aurora Family Therapy Centre, The Refugee Centre, Syrian Canadian Foundation, and Saskatoon Open Door Society to offer this mental health support solution to their refugee clients. Efforts are also underway to translate the platform into Arabic, Farsi, and Spanish to serve diverse language needs. 

“The lack of access to mental health services for refugees demands innovative solutions and that’s why we’re excited about Sayvn, an accessible, affordable, proven mental health service that we hope to bring to refugees across Canada through collaboration with settlement agencies,” said Bayan, Impact Director – Refugees at the Northpine Foundation. 

As this pilot works to demonstrate its positive impacts, the long-term aim is to expand to more agencies, serving more refugees across the country. Agencies interested in utilizing the platform for their clients are welcome to connect with Sayvn. 

Learn more about Savyn Tech here and see the Northpine Foundation’s investments in Refugee support initiatives here.