Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund


June 26, 2019

The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening multiculturalism and addressing the significant and unique mental health challenges faced by Black Canadian communities. Budget 2018 committed $19 million to address challenges faced by Black Canadians.

As part of this investment, the Public Health Agency of Canada is providing up to $10 million over five years through its Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Initiative (MHBC) to better support the mental health and well-being of Black Canadians.

The MHBC initiative includes two funding streams:

  • The Incubator Stream provides short-term funding to support capacity‑building activities that will help organizations design, develop, implement and evaluate projects that promote mental health for Black Canadians.
  • The Implementation Stream provides funding to recipients for community-led projects that implement and evaluate culturally focused programs that promote mental health and address its causes for Black Canadians.

Projects announced today are receiving funding through the Incubator Stream. They include:

African Diaspora Association of the Maritimes (ADAM)

Promoting Mental Health Equity for Black Families in the Maritimes $75,000

This project will work within communities to promote understanding of mental health, including the role of racism-induced stress. The project aims to build capacity in local Black communities by establishing a community advisory team, training Black community members on mental health first aid, holding community engagement sessions to help identify challenges to accessing mental health services among Black Canadians and holding events aimed at providing healthy outlets for stress. The project will also work to establish a network of culturally proficient mental health professionals that can help to deliver training and workshops and advise on longer term mental health promotion strategies. The project’s community events will be open to all individuals of African-descent throughout the Maritimes and there will be an emphasis on reaching African diaspora communities who are recent to Canada.

Aspire for Higher Elite Basketball

Mental Health Initiative Curriculum and Evaluation Plan Development $75,000

This project aims to develop a mental health education curriculum, and build capacity for its implementation, in Aspire for Higher Elite Basketball’s programs for youth. The new mental health curriculum will be developed in consultation with mental health professionals, education professionals, child welfare organizations, and other partners and organizations. This project will offer targeted support to Black youth, particularly males, in Brampton, Ontario.

Dalhousie University

Mobilizing Partnerships: Taking Steps Together for Supported Re-Integration $75,000

This project aims to develop approaches to support the reintegration of African Nova Scotians from the criminal justice system into the community and to address mental health-related barriers, including stigma. This capacity‑building project will focus on identifying knowledge and service gaps and building a network of advocates, organizations and professionals to support the development and implementation of culturally relevant programs. The target population is youth of African descent aged 15 to 35 who were incarcerated or in conflict with the law. This project will incorporate people of all genders to ensure multiple perspectives are represented.

Kaleo Productions

Is Mental Health the Black Church’s Business? $75,000

Kaleo Productions will develop and deliver an annual Mental Health Symposium for Black Churches to equip members to help eliminate stigma and uncover, and educate on, the realities of mental health in the Black Church. Project activities include a Town Hall, three symposia on subgroups within Black Churches (youth, women, elders) and short documentaries and podcasts to raise awareness. The target population is Black, African or Caribbean members of the Black Church in the Greater Toronto Area.

The Governors of the University of Calgary

Promoting mental health equity for Canada’s Black refugees: A pilot intervention with Rwandan and South Sudanese Refugees in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta $75,000

This project will build a collaborative partnership between academics, Black Canadian leaders, and representatives of Black refugee communities to enhance understanding of mental health problems among Canada’s Black refugees. Project activities include strengthening partnerships within the community, ensuring shared knowledge within the community, identifying promising approaches, and designing a community-based solution to address the social determinants of refugee mental health. The project will focus on Rwandan and South Sudanese refugees.

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