Recently, the Government of Canada announced an investment of up to $1.28 million in funding for three organizations to promote mental health and wellbeing for Black LGBTQ2S+ Canadians.
Mental health continues to become more and more of a mainstream discussion. Still, there’s no denying some Canadians struggle with it more because of racism, discrimination, and socio-economic status or social exclusion.
The Ministry of Health said public health measures are at the forefront of its mind, and it found that 40% of Canadians have seen their mental health decline. To promote positive mental health for all Canadians during COVID-19, the ministry announced $1.28 million in funding, aiming to ensure health equity by tackling systematic challenges and barriers faced by Black LGBTQ2S+ people.
Edmonton, AB foundation, Ribbon Rouge Foundation, will receive up to $480,000 to research challenges the LGBTQ2S+ community faces when they try to access help with mental health, sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections and criminal justice involvement.
A Toronto organization called Across Boundaries will get around $400,000 for its Our Stories Our voices project. “The project aims to increase understanding of the mental health needs and experiences of Black LGBTQI+ communities to build capacity and provide leadership opportunities for its members, make mental health conversations more accessible, and find approaches to promote positive mental health,” explained The Public Health Agency in a release.
The project aims to offer leadership training, practitioner training, and community workshops. Over 300 Black LGBTQ2S+ people, with a focus on Black Trans, non-binary, queer persons, and those dealing with poverty, migration and disability.
Further east in Halifax (NS) is the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Youth Project, which centres on the unique mental health challenges and anti-Black barriers for Black LGBTQI+ youth. Those aged 16 to 30 will be given more opportunities to find solutions to the challenges they face.
Education will be given through a series of programs and activities, including artistic approaches. The $400,000 funding will be used to create safe spaces and foster leadership within the community.