Supporting Mental Health in Black Communities
Black Canadians are less likely to use Mental Health resources than White Canadians. In a 2018 survey, nearly 99% of Black Canadians reporting significant psychological distress did not seek mental health services.
The barriers Black Canadians face include:
- Systemic inequity;
- Lack of representation;
- Need for more mental health awareness;
- Myths & misconceptions;
Creating spaces where Black communities can speak openly can help normalize reaching out for help.
Strong support systems & a sense of belonging help protect mental health.
Community education, mobilization and awareness are essential to better outcomes.
How to be an Ally
Racism and discrimination contributes to poor mental health outcomes for Black communities. Learning how to be an anti-racist ally can help build more inclusive & supportive communities. Here are some ways to start:
- Stand up and speak up against racism (even when it makes you feel uncomfortable).
- Accept that you will make mistakes, and when you do, apologize and de-center yourself.
- Commit to educating yourself to better understand the realities of the Black community.
Other resources include a list of children & youth books celebrating Black History Month to read with your child.
Resources, Helplines, Counselling Services
Community engagement refugee & newcomer, summer camp, mentorship, and food bank programs.
Regularly brings people of African descent in Ottawa-Gatineau together to coordinate volunteer-led efforts to address anti-Black racism.
African Canadian Association of Ottawa
ACB Mental Health awareness workshops, art therapy, money & mental health series, and more!
BOC aims to provide a safe space for the Black communities in Ottawa and Gatineau to be able to come together, share resources, educate and empower one another.
Black Youth Helpline
Serves all youth and specifically responds to the need for a Black Youth specific service. Available at 1-833-294-8650.
Quick access to a free counselling session & support groups.
Food security, free counselors & psychologists, employment program, financial health & more!