New resource guide focusing on mental health for Black Canadians launches in Manitoba
Project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada
A new resource guide created to promote mental health and well-being for Black Canadians launched in Manitoba this week.
"This toolkit will have information that will help everyone to be able to provide culturally relevant supports to Black Canadians in times of their mental health needs," said Titi Tijani, president of the African Communities of Manitoba.
The project was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and has been two years in the making, according to Tijani.
She said the aim has been to make it easier for people seeking help or answers about mental health access resources. In addition to that, it was also created to provide information on what factors impact mental health for Black Canadians, such as housing, education, racism, discrimination, health care and poverty.
"There's mental health services that are available, but they are not tailored, you know, or culturally relevant in the way of the support for Black Canadians," said Tijani.
"It's really important that when Black Canadians go to organizations where they can access service, that they're providing service that is relevant, that will be meaningful to support their journey."
Tijani said people can access the resources online and printed versions of the resource guide are available through Black-led organizations and partners who helped create it. The plan is to also have copies available at schools, libraries and health-care offices.
She said mental health affects everyone and it's important to talk about it.
"It's especially important now that we're still going through this pandemic and we know that during the pandemic everyone was starved of relationships, social interaction," said Tijani. " Definitely that affects everyone's mental health and well-being."
A news release announcing it's launch said online forums, focus groups, town hall meetings and surveys were used to help develop the new resource.
"This definitely highlights what people are feeling," said Tijani.
Tijani said the resource guide also combats myths about mental health.
A number of organizations including The Council of Caribbean Organizations in Manitoba, The African Communities of Manitoba, The Jamaican Association of Manitoba, The Canadian Mental Health Association and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority worked worked to help develop the toolkit.
Copies are available in both French and English.
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.