Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund – Implementation Stream – Black LGBTQI+ Canadians

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Section 1: Overview

The Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund ("Fund") supports Black Canadians to develop more culturally responsive knowledge, capacity and programs to address mental health and its determinants in their communities. Following the open solicitation for the Fund in Fall 2018, a gap was identified for proposals focusing specifically on addressing the unique needs of Black LGBTQI+ Canadian populations (see below description of LGBTQI+). To this end, an open solicitation is being held to focus on understanding the needs and supports for Black LGBTQI+ populations in Canada, regarding mental health and its determinants. Specifically, this solicitation will aim to generate or synthesize knowledge and to mobilize that knowledge in order to raise awareness of the unique needs of diverse communities and build greater capacity to respond to these needs and address barriers.

This solicitation is being pursued under the Implementation Stream of the Fund. The Implementation Stream provides funding to recipients for community-led projects that implement and evaluate culturally responsive programs that promote mental health and address its determinants for Black Canadians.

As part of the Implementation Stream, applications submitted under the Black LGBTQI+ Canadian solicitation must include rigorous plans for evaluation and knowledge translation. Projects will focus on knowledge mobilization and/or awareness raising in ways that build evidence to understand the needs of Black LGBTQI+ populations in Canada and support future interventions or culturally responsive programs that address mental health and its determinants for these populations. Examples of relevant projects may include a rigorous community needs assessment, scalable toolkit for community-based organizations or mental health practitioners, development of a knowledge product (e.g., learning curriculum), or awareness-raising initiatives.

1.1 Context

Mental health is an important component of Canadians' overall health. In its 2016 Advancing the Mental Health Strategy for Canada: A Framework for Action, the Mental Health Commission of Canada noted that "mental well-being is deeply impacted by social determinants of health, such as precarious housing, poverty, social exclusion, and racism."

In particular, Black Canadians experience significant social and economic challenges that can have negative implications for their mental health. These challenges include experiences of interpersonal, institutional, and systemic anti-Black racism and discrimination which drive socioeconomic and other disadvantages, including barriers to educational attainment, higher levels of poverty and social exclusion, and disproportionate surveillance by and interactions with law enforcement, criminal justice, and child welfare systems; a lack of access to culturally appropriate and culturally competent services; and stigma related to mental health and to accessing support services.

In response, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) launched the Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund, with the aim of supporting more culturally responsive knowledge, capacity, and programs that address mental health and its determinants for Black Canadians, including a focus on youth.

Black LGBTQI+ Canadians : Throughout this document, the term "Black LGBTQI+" is used to refer to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, intersex or other sexual and/or gender identities in African, Caribbean, or Black Canadian communities.Footnote 1 While this terminology is used, it is recognized that other sexual and gender identities and sexual orientations exist beyond those included in this acronym, and that people's identities and terms used are specific to their cultures and context. This solicitation is inclusive of projects addressing any LGBTQI+ identity relevant to Black Canadians (e.g., sexual and gender minorities, gender non-conforming, Black queer, kings, queens, non-binary).

Intersecting stigmas and discrimination impact the lives of African, Caribbean, and Black LGBTQI+ people in Canada. Race, gender, and sexual orientation, among other categories (e.g., citizenship and immigration, class, religions, (dis)ability, HIV status) interact to produce social locations with varied access to power and material resources. Structural racism, patriarchy, and heteronormativity are dominant systems upon which our societies are organized. Together these systems and their intersections produce normative and often taken-for-granted conditions that regulate, legislate or render invisible the structural oppressions experienced by Black LGBTQI+ people in their everyday lives and the social determinants that influence their mental and physical health. Anti-Black racism, sexism, heterosexism and cissexism (including homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia), and related stigma and discrimination are fundamental drivers of inequitable social, health, and mental health outcomes that create unique barriers to mental and physical health, including the accessibility, quality, and responsiveness of services. Stigma and discrimination can underlie unique experiences of syndemic conditions (e.g. mental health, substance use, sexually transmitted and blood borne infection (STBBI), which in turn are stigmatized within the healthcare system and beyond.

Black LGBTQI+ Canadians may face different forms of stigma and discrimination within the communities and institutions they turn to for their mental health needs, including health and social services. For example, they may face racism and culturally unsafe programming within LGBTQI+ organizations, or homophobia and transphobia within organizations that serve Black Canadians. Negative experiences with the health care system and concerns about discrimination by health care providers can also act as barriers to accessing health services generally, including STBBI testing and treatment. People living with STBBI may also worry about disclosing their infection to family or community out of fear of rejection or exclusion, which has important implications for both physical and mental health. Many religious and community leaders serve as the first line of support for mental health in their communities, though some religious groups actively exclude or deny the existence of LGBTQI+ community members. There is a lack of effective, safe, anti-oppressive, and culturally responsive mental health programming for Black LGBTQI+ Canadians, as well as evidence to inform program design for these populations.

Section 2: Objectives and principles

2.1 Objectives

The objectives of this solicitation are based on the overall objectives of the Fund, which have been adapted to increase the relevancy for Black LGBTQI+ populations:

2.2 Principles

The solicitation is guided by key principles for the Fund that have also been adapted to increase relevancy for Black LGBTQI+ Canadian populations. An overarching Principle of the Fund is addressing anti-Black racism at systemic, institutional, interpersonal or individual levels, and its intersections with other types of social exclusion that affect Black Canadians (e.g., sexism, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, ableism, class exclusion, etc.). The key Principles of the Fund integrate efforts to bring awareness to and reduce anti-Black racism and its consequences in Canada. Applicants must apply and demonstrate all of these Principles to their proposals when submitting a Funding Request Form:

Section 3: Applicant capacity

Applicants must demonstrate in their application the following organizational capacities and expertise:

Section 4: Funding details and requirements

4.1 Funding details and requirements

The Implementation Stream provides funding for community-based projects that aim to better understand or raise awareness about mental health and address its determinants for Black LGBTQI+ Canadians. See Eligible Activities, below. Applicants must demonstrate sufficient existing financial and human resource capacity to support the project's implementation and evaluation.

Interested applicants are invited to submit a Funding Request Form. See Application Process below.

Funding decisions for this solicitation will be based on the results of a competitive proposal assessment process and available funds. Not all eligible applications will be funded.

4.2 Funding amount and duration

Proposed projects must be within funding and duration limits. The maximum funding available is $200,000 per year, to a maximum of $400,000. The maximum project duration is 2 years (24 months). Projects that address syndemics between mental health and sexually transmitted and blood borne infections are eligible for up to $240,000 per year, to a maximum of $480,000. Funding is available to support 1 project at the maximum level, although funding decisions may result in more projects being approved at lower levels depending on the quality of proposals. Projects must end by March 31, 2023.

Section 5: Eligibility

To be eligible for funding, proposed projects must align with the Fund's Objectives and Principles, described above. Applicants must also clearly demonstrate how their funding request meets the following eligibility criteria for recipients and activities.

5.1 Eligible recipients

The following types of applicants are eligible for funding:

Priority will be given to projects and organizations led by and serving Black LGBTQI+ communities in Canada. In all cases, projects must demonstrate Black leadership and collaboration with community groups, not-for-profit organizations, and/or researchers who serve the needs of Black LGBTQI+ Canadians.

Only Canadian organizations may apply for funding under this solicitation.

5.2 Eligible activities

All projects must be of primary benefit to Black LGBTQI+ communities and populations in Canada. Activities eligible for funding include:

5.3 Eligible expenditures

Funding is limited to cash expenses that are pertinent, reasonable and essential to accomplish the objectives of an eligible project. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

A detailed budget will be required as part of the application process.

No project expenses may be incurred prior to the acceptance of the funding agreement by all parties.

5.4 Ineligible activities and expenditures

The following activities and expenses are not eligible for funding:

Section 6: Application and assessment process

6.1 Application process

The application process requires the completion of a Funding Request Form. To obtain a copy of the Funding Request Form template, or for additional information about this funding stream, please contact phac.cgc.solicitations-csc.aspc@canada.ca and reference “Black LGBTQI+ Canadians” in the subject line.

The deadline for submitting completed Funding Request Forms is October 22, 2020 3:00 pm EDT. All Funding Request Forms must be submitted via email to: phac.cgc.solicitations-csc.aspc@canada.ca. Receipt of Funding Request Forms will be acknowledged via email. Please ensure that your email address is included in your application.

Successful applications will be determined based on the results of a competitive review process and budgetary considerations. Funding will not be available before March 2021.

6.2 Assessment criteria

The following criteria will be used to assess applications, with additional details provided in corresponding sections of the Funding Request Form:

Section 7: Other considerations

7.1 Official language requirements

The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada (Francophones living outside the province of Quebec and Anglophones living in the province of Quebec), supporting and assisting their development, and fostering the full recognition and use of both official languages in Canadian society. Projects must be accessible in one or both official languages depending on the reach and audience. For additional information, consult the Official Languages Act.

7.2 Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) requirements

The Government of Canada is committed to Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+). GBA+ is an approach to help reflect on and better understand peoples' multiple identity factors (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation), the interactions or intersections amongst these various identity factors and how that may impact their experiences with policies, programs and initiatives. Experiences occur within and interact with connected systems and structures of power, oppression, and privilege (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism, and cissexism). The aim of GBA+ is to develop awareness of the differential impacts on diverse and intersecting identities in order to enable the creation of equitable policies, programs and initiatives.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate that the above considerations have been incorporated into their project, using a GBA+ framework or other critical approaches (e.g., Africentric perspective, Black feminism) that seek to illustrate how experiences of Black LGBTQI+ Canadians intersect with locations in other social systems and structures.

7.3 Research ethics approval

All projects that include research or evaluation involving humans must be approved by a research ethics board (REB) that adheres to the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. In addition, project leads should consult the Tri-Council Policy Statement website before the research portion of the project begins. Projects can submit to Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada's REB if they are not in a context with existing REB infrastructure. Research is defined as an activity designed to test a hypothesis or answer a specific research question, permit conclusions to be drawn, and extend knowledge through the use of scientific methods and standardized protocols, systematic collection or analysis of data, or other types of inquiry. Evaluation is considered to be a form of research and it is anticipated that all evaluation projects will require ethics approval.

Section 8: Contact us

For additional information about this funding opportunity, please contact: phac.cgc.solicitations-csc.aspc@canada.ca.

PHAC is under no obligation to enter into a funding agreement as a result of this invitation to submit a Funding Request Form.

PHAC reserves the right to:

PHAC will not reimburse an applicant for costs incurred in the preparation or submission of a Funding Request Form response to this invitation.

Section 9: Glossary of terms

Black Canadians generally includes diverse individuals, populations, and communities in Canada that identify as having African or Caribbean ancestry.

Black Leadership refers to, for the purpose of this funding opportunity, the active and substantial involvement in leading the project of organizations, researchers, and coalitions whose mandate, leadership, and/or priorities include activities specifically designed to serve Black communities and benefit Black Canadians and have demonstrated understanding of the challenges experienced by these communities. Evidence that such organizations are based in, led by, and/or serve Black communities in Canada may include: organizational mission statements, operational plans, and other corporate documents; current and previous project work; and/or substantive senior organizational leadership by Black Canadians (e.g., Board governance, staff leadership).

Black LGBTQI+ Canadians refers to, for the purpose of this funding opportunity, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, intersex or other sexual orientations or gender identities in African, Caribbean, or Black Canadian communities. While this terminology is used, it is recognized that other sexual and gender identities and sexual orientations exist beyond those included in this acronym, it is recognized that other sexual and gender identities and sexual orientations exist beyond those included in this acronym, and that people's identities and terms used are specific to their cultures and context. This solicitation is inclusive of projects addressing any LGBTQI+ identity relevant to Black Canadians (e.g., sexual and gender minorities, gender non-conforming, Black queer, kings, queens, non-binary).

Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) is an analytical process and intersectional approach used to reflect on how multiple identity factors of diverse groups of women, men and non-binary people may impact their experiences with policies, programs and initiatives. Experiences occur within and interact with connected systems and structures of power, oppression, and privilege (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism, and cissexism), related to the multiple identity factors that make us who we are (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, age). The "plus" in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences and considers many other identity factors, like race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical (dis)ability.

Health equity refers to the absence of unfair/unjust, systematic, and avoidable differences in health status or social determinants of health. A health equity approach seeks to reduce inequalities and to increase access to opportunities and conditions conducive to health for all. Heightened efforts to address the needs of populations that are at higher risk for poor health outcomes can help reduce health inequities between different population groups. For more information refer to the PHAC webpage on social determinants of health and health inequalities.

Knowledge mobilization includes the synthesis, adaptation, dissemination and active exchange of knowledge.

Mental health refers to a person's state of psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It is a necessary resource for living a healthy life and a main factor in overall health. It does not mean the same thing as mental illness. However, poor mental health can lead to mental and physical illness. Good/positive mental health allows a person to feel, think, and act in ways that help them enjoy life and cope with its challenges. Mental health can be positively or negatively influenced by factors at the individual, family, community and societal levels, including life experiences, social relationships, physical health, and social determinants of health. For more information on risk and protective factors for mental health refer to PHAC's Positive Mental Health Surveillance Indicator Framework.

Sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) is a term describing an infection that is either sexually transmitted or transmitted through blood. This includes, but is not limited to: human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and human papilloma virus (HPV).

Social determinants of health are the broad range of social, economic and environmental factors that relate to an individual's place in society (such as gender, race, income, education, or employment) and that determine individual and population health. For more information refer to the PHAC webpage on social determinants of health and health inequalities.

Syndemics occurs when two or more health issues interact synergistically to contribute to increased health burden for individuals or communities.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Note: The Government of Canada uses LGBTQ2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-Spirit) as the acronym for the official title of the Special Advisor and Privy Council Office Secretariat. Other acronyms often used include LGBTQ, LGBTQAI2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Intersex, Two-Spirited), LGBTI, or QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour).

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Footnote 2

Where available, funding applicants should cite applicable peer-reviewed scientific data, research, and analysis and/or previous evaluation results that support the proposed project. However, it is recognized that significant gaps exist in data and evidence for Black communities in Canada. Other forms of acceptable evidence include: non-Canadian peer-reviewed data, research, and analysis on mental health issues, determinants, and interventions in Black populations; community needs assessments; organizational expertise and knowledge; and perspectives from individuals with lived experience.

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Footnote 3

[3] Information on integrating health equity considerations in project activities is available in:
Toward Health Equity - Practice Tool :
http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/9.805225/publication.html

Toward Health Equity - A tool for developing equity-sensitive interventions :
http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/9.805230/publication.html

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