Six organizations dedicated to Black mental health get $3 million boost

Ekua Asabea Blair

By making strategic investments to help address the specific challenges faced by Black Canadians and other equity-deserving groups, including heath inequities shaped by discrimination and stigma, six Toronto-based organizations received $3 million in Toronto to support the mental health of Black individuals and communities. 

These projects aim to promote positive mental health by increasing mental health literacy, better distribution of culturally informed mental health resources, and educational sectors that serve Black clients about ways to combat and address systemic anti-Black racism, and using art as a method of expression.

Today’s investment builds on an earlier announcement the Government of Canada made in February of $198.6 billion over 10 years to improve health care services for Canadians, reduce surgical backlogs, support health workers, and improve integrated mental health and substance use services.

According to Minister of Mental Health Carolyn Bennett, this is an opportunity “to talk about the mental health issues faced by Black individuals and communities, and what is being done to improve access to culturally safe and informed mental health care. These six Toronto-based organizations are doing incredible work to support Black mental health through community-based projects that meet the needs of people where they live and access services.”

Ekua Asabea Blair of Abiona Centre for Infant & Early Mental Health added: “The mental health of young Black mothers has been disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to intervene now to stop the negative impacts of the pandemic from being passed down to their children. This critical funding from PHAC will promote positive mental health, resilience, and educational attainment and outcomes for Black adolescent mothers and their children through a home-visiting model. We are grateful to PHAC for their significant investment in young Black lives.”

“Supporting mental health and well-being ensures that those who face systemic barriers have access to the resources they need to thrive,”

Mental health promotion and mental illness prevention are critical components for well-being and can help reduce demands on the health care system. Community-based projects focussed on mental health promotion have the potential to improve health outcomes over the life course.