Government of Canada announces $3 million to support the mental health of Black communities


March 10, 2023

Supporting the mental health and well-being of people in Canada, particularly those who face disproportionate challenges because of systemic racism, discrimination, socio economic status or social exclusion, is a priority for the Government of Canada.

To help address the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of Black individuals and communities, the Government of Canada announced close to $3 million in funding to six organizations in Toronto, Ontario for their community-based projects to support Black mental health.

This announcement is part of a $100 million investment provided in Budget 2021 to support projects that promote mental health and prevent mental illness in populations disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. By making strategic investments that address the specific challenges faced by Black Canadians, such as discrimination and stigma, we can ensure that people get the support they need, when and where they need it.

Project overviews

Projects focused on culturally-informed mental health resources

  • St. Michael's Hospital, part of the Unity Health Toronto, is receiving $1,111,834 to support the mental health and well-being of families in eight large racial and cultural-linguistic groups in Canada, specifically, Black-African-Caribbean, Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Latinx, Inuktitut, and Ukrainian, through the distribution of mental health resources co-designed with people who share their lived experience. The project will also share culturally-relevant, evidence-based parenting resources for healthcare professionals to provide to their patients to promote mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.
  • York University is receiving $400,000 for their capacity building and knowledge exchange program focusing on providing the Ontario youth sector with the foundational tools to cultivate practices that challenge, disrupt and combat systematic anti-Black racism. The project seeks to contribute towards a structural transformation in Ontario's youth sector that centers the well-being of young Black people and their families in their individual practices and organizational policies.
  • Ghanaian Canadian Association of Ontario is receiving $398,095 for their project to implement culturally-focused Mental Health First Aid courses and community programs amongst Black Canadians and Africans in Diaspora communities in Canada through culturally-responsive mental health information and supports. The project will increase the capacity of the community to address the unique barriers that exist due to a lack of access and knowledge on mental health on a general and practical level.

Project focused on LGBTQIA+ support

  • Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention is receiving $377,840 for their project to address the mental health needs of African, Caribbean, and Black LGBTQIA+ individuals, including those living with HIV and AIDS, through trauma-informed services in an environment where service users can make decisions about their mental health and HIV and AIDS-related needs.

Project to support young Black mothers and their children

  • Abiona Centre For Infant & Early Mental Health (formerly Massey Centre and Humewood House) is receiving $399,674 in funding for their project to develop a home-visiting approach using community resources. The project will help improve and promote positive mental health, resilience, and educational attainment and outcomes for Black adolescent mothers and their children.

Project using arts to support mental health

  • Moyo Health and Community Services is receiving $398,831 for their “Theatre for Positive Mental Health” project to support the mental health of African, Caribbean, and Black individuals in Peel, Ontario using aspects of story-telling and participatory theatre.

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