Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Initiative – Black LGBTQI+ Canadians
This invitation to submit an application is now closed.
On this page
- Section 1: Overview
- Section 2: Objectives and principles
- Section 3: Applicant capacity
- Section 4: Funding details and requirements
- Section 5: Eligibility
- Section 6: Other considerations
- Section 7: Contact us
- Section 8: Glossary of terms
Section 1: Overview
The Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund ("the 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 was held to focus on understanding the needs and supports for Black LGBTQI+ populations in Canada, regarding mental health and its determinants. Specifically, this solicitation aims 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.
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
The objectives of this solicitation have been adapted to increase the relevancy for Black LGBTQI+ populations. The objectives are to increase:
- understanding of the unique mental health challenges, needs, barriers to and social determinants of mental health for Black LGBTQI+ Canadians, as well as the strength and resilience of these populations in addressing those challenges;
- knowledge of effective, culturally responsive approaches and programs for improving mental health and addressing its key social determinants for Black LGBTQI+ Canadians; and,
- capacity, including by raising awareness and mobilizing knowledge, within Black Canadian and LGBTQI+ communities and/or among policy-makers, practitioners, and service providers in ways that seek to understand and address barriers to mental health, as well as increase strength and resiliency factors, for Black LGBTQI+ Canadians.
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:
- Leadership by Black, and especially Black LGBTQI+ Canadians: Projects are led by Black Canadian community groups, not-for-profit organizations, and/or researchers. Project leads have a strong understanding of the unique and intersecting challenges experienced by Black LGBTQI+ Canadian populations and safe and sensitive approaches for working with these communities. Projects are delivered for, and are of primary benefit to, Black LGBTQI+ Canadian community members. Subgroups may include (not are not limited to): Black LGBTQI+ youth, Black LGBTQI+ immigrant populations, and Black LGBTQI+ community members living with HIV or with lived/living experience of Hepatitis C.
- Evidence-based: Projects are anchored in meaningful data and evidence that demonstrate a knowledge gap in understanding of the mental health needs and determinants for Black LGBTQI+ populations and/or the approaches for addressing these needs.Footnote 2 Funding applications must include robust evaluation to assess the outcomes and impact of planned activities and/or knowledge products. Projects must clearly demonstrate effective approaches will be used to mobilize the knowledge they generate or synthesize in order to build capacity in the broader community, with organizations, policy makers, practitioners, and/or providers that serve (or have the potential to serve) Black LGBTQI+ Canadians. Partnerships with academics or other researchers are encouraged to support this work when conducted by a community-based organization.
- Social determinants of health approach: Projects address one or more social determinants of mental health for Black LGBTQI+ populations, such as anti-Black racism (internalized, interpersonal, institutional/systemic), education, housing, policing and criminal justice systems, poverty, social exclusion, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and/or stigma and discrimination including stigma related to mental health and/or sexually transmitted and blood borne infections. Projects may be undertaken in a range of settings related to these determinants of mental health for Black LGBTQI+ communities, including schools and post-secondary institutions, workplaces, community health care settings, community centres, police departments, and detention and correctional institutions.
- Health equity lens: Projects integrate a health equity lens throughout their design, implementation, and evaluation that considers and addresses unfair and avoidable differences in determinants of health, health outcomes, reach and impact of interventions for various subgroups within diverse Black LGBTQI+ populations, as well as differences with the Black Canadian or Canadian general population. For example, it recognizes and responds to differences based on sex and gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnic/cultural backgrounds, migration histories, geographic locations, and socioeconomic status.Footnote 3
- Cultural competence and safety: Where applicable, projects recognize and challenge unequal power relations between researchers, program providers, and participants by building equitable, two-way relationships characterized by respect, shared responsibility, and cultural exchange. Project participants and target audiences must have their culture, values, and preferences taken into account in the development of knowledge mobilization or awareness raising products.
- Partnerships and collaboration: Projects are informed by, and benefit from, in-kind and/or financial support provided by partners from various sectors (e.g., not-for-profit sector, academic/research sector, private sector, organizations within and outside of the health sector, and other levels of government).
Section 3: Applicant capacity
Applicants must demonstrate in their application the following organizational capacities and expertise:
- Project leadership by Black Canadians and particularly Black LGBTQI+ Canadians that understand the unique experiences of Black LGBTQI+ Canadians related to mental health and its determinants
- Experience working with Black LGBTQI+ communities in a safe and culturally responsive manner
- Experience in affirming and engaging with the unique lived experiences of being Black and LGBTQI+ in Canada (e.g., what your agency has done that demonstrates commitment to ending structural oppression for Black LGBTQI+ Canadians or promotes inclusion, how your agency is perceived by Black LGBTQI+ communities)
- Experience in applying a social determinants of health approach to mental health for these groups, in particular determinants like anti-Black racism, violence, poverty, homo- or transphobia, HIV stigma, religion/spirituality
- Readiness to implement and reach the population of interest in a manner that demonstrates understanding of the unique barriers some may face to participating and approaches and supports needed to reduce these barriers
- Expertise in knowledge mobilization and effective approaches for reaching diverse audiences
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.
Funding decisions for this solicitation are 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:
- Not-for-profit voluntary organizations and corporations
- For-profit organizations (must apply in partnership with a not-for-profit organization)
- Unincorporated groups, societies and coalitions
- Provincial, territorial, local governments and their agencies
- Organizations and institutions supported by provincial and territorial governments (e.g., regional health authorities, post-secondary institutions)
Priority is 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:
- a project that generates or synthesizes knowledge and mobilizes that knowledge with an aim to understand, and build awareness and capacity to address the issues, barriers, challenges, strengths, and resilience that Black LGBTQI+ Canadians experience regarding mental health and its determinants.
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:
- salaries, benefits and consultant fees directly related to the project;
- Rental of office space, and equipment not normally used in your organization's daily operations;
- travel expenses and accommodation for project activities, including participation in project activities, within Canada, which must not exceed the rates permitted for travel on government business;
- meetings, events and workshops - expenses associated with meeting space rental, transportation, accommodation, and meals must not exceed the rates permitted for government business;
- dissemination, promotion and communications;
- insurance (recipients must ensure that any public events funded by the Program are covered by appropriate insurance);
- third-party project evaluation and audit services; and
- other costs related to the approved project.
A detailed budget is 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:
- Provision of mental health services or clinical treatment for mental illnesses (e.g., psychological counselling);
- Provision of services that are the responsibility of other levels of government;
- Core operating expenses, including those incurred by the organization in its normal or daily conduct of business (e.g., rent);
- Capital costs or expenditures (e.g., purchase of land, buildings, vehicles);
- Any type of Director's fees for volunteer members of Boards or other governing bodies;
- Annual general meetings or regular executive board meetings of an organization or association, including related travel;
- Ongoing production of newsletters, newspapers, magazines, journals, or radio and television broadcasts;
- Pure research in any discipline (pure research is original investigation undertaken to gain new scientific or technical knowledge and understanding, but without specific applications);
- Project-related travel and hospitality expenses that exceed the National Joint Council rates;
- Unidentified miscellaneous costs; and
- In-kind expenses.
Section 6: Other considerations
6.1 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.
6.2 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.
6.3 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 7: Contact us
For additional information about this funding opportunity, please contact: email@example.com.
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:
- reject any submission received in response to this invitation;
- accept any submission in whole or in part; and
- cancel and/or re-issue this invitation at any time.
PHAC will not reimburse an applicant for costs incurred in the preparation or submission of a Funding Request Form response to this invitation.
Section 8: 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.
- occurs when two or more health issues interact synergistically to contribute to increased health burden for individuals or communities.
- 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).
- 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.
- Footnote 3
Information on integrating health equity considerations in project activities is available in:
Toward Health Equity - Practice Tool:
Toward Health Equity - A tool for developing equity-sensitive interventions:
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