Black Health Alliance to host youth-focused mental health forum

MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes
MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Several Black youth, mental health researchers, frontline workers and MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes will share their stories about mental health, recovery and support at the Black Health Alliance’s  Mental Health and Youth forum on Saturday.

Venue for the forum is the  North York Civic Centre Council Chamber (5100 Yonge Street). The event runs from  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A Black Health Alliance  news release  notes that this year’s forum focuses on youth, a population at greatest risk of experiencing mental health issues.

The main speakers include Asante Haughton, a Case Worker with Pathways to Education. He will discuss the present state of mental illness in Black youth. Akwatu Khenti, Director of Transformative Global Health at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, will discuss ways Black communities can protect youth mental health and well-being. Jabari Lindsay, Manager of Youth Development with the City of Toronto will focus on youth mental health and the future.

A panel discussion comprised of youth and community organizations that serve Toronto Black youth will focus on sources of support.

MP Caesar-Chavannes will engage in a one on one chat. In September she stressed the importance of talking about mental health in her article titled “I’m An MP And I’m Among Those Who Struggle With Depression” for Frame of Mind, a Huffington Post series that focuses on teens and mental health.

According to  the news release from the Black Health Alliance , the Mental Health Association of Canada estimates 10-20 per cent of Canadian youth are impacted by a mental illness or disorder – the single most disabling group of disorder in the world. The forum will feature youth who live with mental illness talking about the challenges they have faced to acknowledge their illness, access to services and approaches to treatment.

The forum aims to identify and develop strategies and supports for families and peers to help Black youth living with mental illness. For more information contact the BHA at or 416-293-4234.