Black Mental Health Week 2023: video


Transcript - Black Mental Health Week 2023: video

Minister Bennett:
Hello, I'm Carolyn Bennett, Canada's Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health.

This week is Black Mental Health Week — a time to bring awareness to the impact of anti-Black racism on the mental health of Black communities and share their many stories of sacrifice and triumph.

Today, I'm joined by Michelle Herbert from Black Mental Health Canada to talk about the barriers to mental health care faced by Black communities and the incredible work being done to break down these barriers across the country.

Michelle, tell us about your organization.

Michelle Herbert – Black Mental Health Canada (BMHC):

Thank-you Minister. Black Mental Health Canada is a volunteer, community based non-profit organization helping to meet the mental health needs of the diverse Black communities across Canada.

Black communities often face many challenges to positive mental health support due to oppression, anti-Black racism, racial trauma, and other forms of discrimination.

Minister Bennett:

Black-led organizations across Canada are doing truly important work to improve access to culturally safe and trauma informed mental health care.

This work is being supported through federal, provincial, and territorial initiatives, such as the Public Health Agency of Canada's Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health for Black Canadians Fund, which helps community-based organizations and researchers to develop programs across Canada that promote mental health for Black Canadians.

Michelle Herbert – BMHC:

That's right. Through education & training our goal is to help build capacity among clinicians to provide culturally safe and appropriate mental health counselling.

Minister Bennett:

By continuing to make targeted investments that acknowledge the unique mental health challenges faced by Black communities, we will build a more equitable society that leaves no one behind.

As the Prime Minister announced last month, our government is also working to improve health care for all Canadians through a historic $198 billion investment to increase access to family health services, reduce surgical backlogs, support health workers, and improve integrated mental health and substance use services.

Together, we will ensure that everyone in Canada - Black communities and other equity-deserving groups – has access to the multidisciplinary mental health and substance use supports they need.

Michelle Herbert – BMHC:

Black Mental Health Canada aims to create a society where mental health & wellness is valued and prioritized within Black communities. There's a familiar proverb that says, "if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. At BMHC, we believe we can go farther with our vision when we work together. Thank you.

Minister Bennett:

Thank you Michelle! It's so important to recognize that we're all in this together and not alone.

We need to always remind people that they are not alone. If you or a loved one is struggling, free and confidential support is available through the Wellness Together Canada portal, which can connect you to social workers, psychologists and other mental health professionals.

You can also access the portal's companion app, PocketWell, for additional resources, such as a self-assessment tool and a daily mood tracker.

Reach out… you are not alone.

On screen:

Call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 (adults) or 686868 (youth).

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