Product of the BLM movement, BLACK MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS is healing Black Torontonians and beyond.
BLACK MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS (BMHMC) is now accepting Black clients for low-to-no cost therapy that confronts various mental health ailments including anger, grief, anxiety, race-based trauma and more.
First of its kind in the GTA, BMHM began as a community call to action, to support low-to-no cost culturally-competent psychotherapy to clients who desperately need affordable mental health care. Inspired by the public outcry against anti-Black racism, BMHM is actively campaigning to end the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment in Black communities across the GTA.
Through workshops, co-founders Susan Bascillo and Yemi Faderin are educating about Black mental health, race-based trauma, mental health stigma and more, for any organization willing to have deeper conversations, tough introspection, and gain a better grasp of how to interact with and help those facing mental illness. This work continues to address a range of social barriers like education-level, under-employment, housing insecurity etc., which may lead to poorer mental health outcomes and negatively impact one’s well-being. Having this understanding is the first-step to changing some of these systemic issues that impact Black Canadians’ well-being.
Being able to provide low-cost mental health supports to the Black community can change lives, but it’s only possible with the support of donors in the community and people who take action to listen, learn and be part of the solution. People all across Canada are personally, and as part of their organizations rushing to www.blackmentalhealthmatters.ca to donate, to register for workshops, and to share the message that seeking treatment is nothing to be ashamed of.
“BMHM was born out of community recognition that every Black person deserves to feel comfortable, seen and heard -especially those who suffer silently without access to the right kind of help. That’s why we’ve raised hundreds of thousands in donations. But our work can only exist because of passionate donors whose commitment ensures Black therapists are fairly compensated for their work, and that income is not a barrier for anyone who needs treatment.”
~ Yemi Faderin, Co-founder, BLACK MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
“We know many Black Canadians are not seeking treatment, because they are afraid of judgement, they can’t find a Black therapist who they can openly talk about their race-salient experiences, or they simply can’t afford it. We wanted to address that head on and equip clients, organizations, and broader communities with the tools to identify the consequences of systemic racism and promote safer and more compassionate spaces.”
~Susan Bascillo, Co-founder, BLACK MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
- The Mental Health Commission of Canada reported that African and Caribbean Canadians were more exposed to factors that are linked to poorer mental health for everyone such as poorer education and housing, unemployment, poverty and criminalization.
- Members of the Black community may experience racism, discrimination, violence and poverty at higher levels than people of other races. These phenomena can intensify mental illness.
- Despite the resilience of Black Torontonians, there have been increasing suggestions that anti-Black racism is taking its toll on mental health.
- Not every facet of being Black can be articulated; not every facet of a racist incident can be explained.Creating a comfortable and safe environment for Black Canadians to seek treatment is vital to helping them heal from their mental illness, and this makes it important to have a culturally-competent Black therapist.
BLACK MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS was established in 2020 to support low-cost therapy and improve outcomes for Black Canadians experiencing trauma from racism and other forms of mental illness. BMHM equips clients, organizations, and broader communities with the tools to identify the consequences of systemic racism and promote safer and more compassionate spaces. Through workshops, it addresses a range of social barriers which may lead to poorer mental health outcomes and it is campaigning to end the stigma surrounding mental health in Black communities. To donate, register for a workshop, or learn more visit www.blackmentalhealthmatters.ca.