The goal is to address the lack of Black therapy resources, advocacy, and mental health support in the Vancouver Lower Mainland — land of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.
There needs to be serious focus redirected towards creating safety networks for Black folks struggling with mental health. Racial trauma is one of the biggest threats to the Black community; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
I am starting a crowdfunding campaign to support mental health initiatives for Black folks in Vancouver through advocacy + Black-led healing.
Vancouver Black Therapy & Advocacy Fund is a not-for-profit initiative that aims to raise funds to make mental health support more accessible to Black community members in the Lower Mainland.
This fundraiser was created with the understanding of the disparity of access for Black mental health resources; our goal is to connect members with accredited and recommended local Black counselors and therapists.
It is important to address the potential barriers that may exist within our communities in order to make sustainable change. Since there are mostly Hegemonic non-Black therapists in Vancouver without anti-oppression training, it can be alienating and unhealthy for Black communities to be seeking solace and support with non-Black therapists. This is an open call for donations and advocacy for Black therapists to connect with Black folks in need of therapy.
❋ The Goal:
Aiming to raise $20,000+ in order to offer therapy funds to 10 + Black folks, priority to refugees, low income, Disabled, LGBTQIA+ folks, with 12-15 hours of therapy sessions for FREE, funded by the donations. Advocacy services will also be available for the recipients.
❋ UPDATED Goal:
Thank you for helping us surpass our original goal. We are still asking for donations to reach our current goal of $200,000. We have already started the process of connecting licensed professionals in the Lower Mainland with 25 selected recipients who applied during the intake period in June. These recipients are currently being provided with free therapy for 5 months, encompassing a total of 20 sessions each.
The intake period is closed for now and we are not processing additional applications for the moment. Thank you to people who reached out via the public intake form that was posted through this GoFundMe as well as through social media callouts. We acknowledge the high amount of demand and the need for an ongoing program. We commit to redistributing time and resources to make care work accessible to the Black community in Vancouver; working towards this kind of access is key to our collective healing. We envision healing that is affordable, flexible, and that prioritizes those who often are invisibilized or endangered in other spaces. As somatics practitioner and BLM activist Prentis Hemphill says, "Healing justice is active intervention in which we transform the lived experience of Blackness in our world." We want to offer more than temporary relief, we want to offer healing and tools that can be carried forward and into life. We are deeply interested in growing through the complexity of communal healing, and this fund will enable us to manifest what is urgently required to counter individualistic therapeutic models of whiteness, which promote false ideas of the self as an independent agent and do not address or understand racial trauma.
We will re-evaluate the program as it evolves to determine how to best allocate the remainder of the funds. Given that this program is in its nascent stage, we want to provide ongoing care and not the stretch numbers right away as we hope this can become an ongoing program. For now, the remainder of the funds will be reserved as contingency for the next intake rounds. Our hope is that we can raise enough funds to allow for a second intake round in the near future as there is a great demand for access to these resources. We have just launched our monthly donation program, and you can sign up through here: https://donate-can.keela.co/donation-form20
This started as a fund being managed by one person, myself, and to address the increase in demand, I am gathering a team to support me and the newly incorporated non-profit foundation with admin, communications, and management.
Every future intake period will be announced through the website, GoFundMe updates, social media and our mailing list: http://vancouverblacktherapyfoundation.com/pages/subscribe.html
❋ UPDATED Budget Breakdown (September 2020) ❋
For the sake of transparency, we will provide a high-level overview of our operations: we have allocated about $100,000 to pay for 20 therapy sessions for 25 people over the next few months. It is important to us that recipients receive these sessions at no charge to them, so the sessions can be accessed long term, with as few barriers as possible. We are planning on covering 20 more people in the next year, for which we want to allocate another $80,000. Our intention is to spend less than 10% of our budget on operational and administrative costs to get the non-profit started and running. We are choosing to invest some funds into operations to lay the groundwork for the VBT&AF to ensure that we will be able to have a strong and sustainable future.
❋ Black Therapy Recipients:
Barrier-free mental health access, Although, priority will be given to immigrants, refugees, disabled & LGBTQIA+ folks., all Black folks are encouraged to apply. Recipients will be non-disclosed. The public intake form was posted through this GoFundMe as well as through social media callouts. The intake period is now closed.
At this time, this fund is exclusive to the Lower Mainland of Vancouver since there is a lack of therapy services for Black folks specifically. However, we will make exceptions for requests outside of this area if you are lacking resources in your area. We are grateful for the therapists we are currently working with: Christina Fenton, Maedean Myers, Nadine Tilma, Tricia-Kay Williams.
❋ This fundraiser is created by Betty Mulat , Vancouver based artist, producer, co-founder of NuZi Collective , and community organizer ❋
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