A new resource guide created to promote the mental health and well-being of Black Canadians was launched in Manitoba this week.
“This toolkit will contain information that will help everyone be able to provide culturally relevant supports to Black Canadians during times of mental health need,” said Titi Tijani, President of African Communities in Manitoba.
The project was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and has been in the works for two years, according to Tijani.
She said the goal was to make it easier for people to seek help or answers on resources to access mental health. In addition to this, it was also created to provide information on factors affecting the mental health of Black Canadians, such as housing, education, racism, discrimination, health care and poverty. .
“There are mental health services that are available, but they’re not tailored, you know, or culturally relevant in terms of supporting black Canadians,” Tijani said.
“It’s really important that when black Canadians go to organizations where they can access services, that they provide a relevant service, that will be helpful in supporting their journey. “
Tijani said people can access resources online and that printed versions of the resource guide are available through the organizations Black led and the partners who helped create it. The plan is also to 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 hungry for relationships, for social interactions,” Tijani said. “Certainly it affects everyone’s mental health and well-being. ”
A press release announcing its launch said online forums, focus groups, town halls and polls were used to help develop the new resource.
“It definitely highlights how people are feeling,” Tijani said.
Tijani said the resource guide also combats myths about mental health.
A number of organizations, including the Council of Caribbean Organizations of Manitoba, African Communities in Manitoba, Jamaica Association of Manitoba, Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority have worked to develop the the tool kit.
Copies are available in French and English.