Black Lives Matter.
Afro-Indigenous Lives Matter.
Black Women Matter.
Black Men Matter.
Black Families Matter.
Black Futures Matter.
Black Healing Matters.
Black Mental Health Matters.
We are all racist. Because of the pervasiveness of systemic, explicit and implicit racism, we all have a duty to end it and help those most impacted heal.
It is not enough to “not be racist,” we have to be actively anti-racist by striving to rededicate ourselves, love our neighbours, and become the change we wish to see.
This fund is a place for non-Black people to tangibly put their outrage, sadness, shock, fear, anger and solidarity into action to actively support Black-led healing from the impacts of white supremacy through mental health supports for Black people.
WHO IS LEADING THIS FUND?
This fund will be led, held, and administered by Black Registered Social Workers (RSWs), Susan and Yemi. More on their respective experience in their profile links:
Meet the Therapists:
WHAT ACTIVITIES WILL THIS FUND SUPPORT?
In the initial stages, the fund will support low/no cost virtual mental health care for Black clients in East York, Toronto and across Ontario.
The fund will support:
Low/no cost workshops for community members, which may include:
- Ancestral Memory of Trauma, which will have a spiritual & recovery model
- Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome, which will utilize a psycho-educational model
Low/no cost one on one therapy sessions for community members
Add: This includes Black/Afro Indigenous Queer/Nonbinary/Trans clients
Anti-Oppressive workshops for mental health practitioners
Withdrawn by fund organizers, Yemi and Susan, money will directly help provide a fair wage to Black therapists providing therapy sessions and workshops to those most in need in Black/ Afro-Indigenous communities . Supporting low/no cost mental health care, particularly in the midst of ongoing trauma is important work and deserves adequate compensation. Black women are, on average, paid less for their labours than white women, and mental health work is no exception.
HOW WILL CLIENTS BE CHOSEN TO RECEIVE SUBSIDIZED WORKSHOPS/SUPPORTS/SESSIONS?
We will proceed on a first come, first serve basis. We feel people are best to make their own decisions about their eligibility for low/no cost therapy.
Capacity will depend on many factors, including funds raised, and how project evolves with regards to new partners/additional therapists.
WHY IS THIS FUND SO IMPORTANT?
The Black community in East York, Toronto, and across Ontario deserves increased, adequate access to timely, Black-led mental health supports. Many clients will wait up to a year to access services, and during this time, they can disengage and and feel hopeless. Our goal is to support timely access for Black community members to mental health professionals, be it via workshops or one on one therapy sessions.
The stripping of the public health system by successive governments has left major gaps and long waits and stripped-down services that are often administered by white practitioners and not through an anti-oppressive lens, which can end up harming more than healing.
WHERE CAN I GO FOR MORE INFORMATION?
We’ve received such an incredible response to this fund in such a short period of time. We will be creating a hub of information as soon as possible and will be asking our supporters and partners (like the Healing Collective) to help direct interested parties to our information. As we work quickly to build a place for information sharing, you can contact [email redacted] for more information.
OTHER BLACK-LED WORK IN TORONTO TO SUPPORT:
There is a lot of wonderful work already being done in the community to support mental health in the Black community. Fund leaders support in particular “Nothing About Us Without Us” who provide mental health services for Black and racialized communities. We hope you do too.
Here are some other organizations in Toronto that have been doing Black-led mental health work. There are many others:
Women's Health in Women's Hands
The Black Health Alliance
If you have an organization that you would like us to add to this list, please email us.
We will be making donations from this fund to:
The Most Nurtured
Our Relationship with The Healing Collective
Susan and Yemi see their private practice clients within The Healing Collective, a therapy space on the Danforth. You can view their profiles there above to find out more about them and their work.
The Healing Collective is a supporter of these efforts and has lent its network to inspire immediate action. It will continue to be a valuable partner and answer questions from non-Black people interested in supporting these efforts. It will also help with marketing and promotion, and other supports as requested, but will not be administering the fund, or have access to the fund. The Healing Collective is also proud to donate space for groups and workshops, when gatherings are once again permitted.
WHAT ARE OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT THIS FUND?
Surpassing each financial milestone means additional workshops can be offered and additional work can be done. There is a lot of need for this type of support and continuously expanding the scope of this work is the hope of all involved. For those who can’t afford to donate, you can of course support this project by sharing it with your networks!
IS THIS FUND TIME-LIMITED?
Based on public response and available funds, the work may be shifted and expanded to better serve those in need. As long as Black mental health professionals are willing to administer this fund and recognize it’s value, fundraising efforts will continue.
Our communities are recognizing the vital need for these supports. Thank you for your donations, your action and for helping us spread the word about the services we will be providing, particularly to those most in need!
If you’d like to know more about the work this fund will be doing, or connect with us, please email us at: [email redacted]
- Alexandra Thibault
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