The caregiving role is different from one ethnic group to another. Black caregivers’ experiences are unique for various reasons, including systemic racism and discrimination. They may also face a lack of formal support and increased barriers to accessing culturally competent services, or be disproportionately impacted by certain health issues or social determinants of health.
The OCO has compiled the following tools and resources that aim to empower and support Black caregivers in various situations or settings such as school, community spaces, engaging with policy, and managing stress.
Resources For Black Caregivers in Ontario
Black Parents of Children and Adults with a Disability (BPSG) is a volunteer-run group that meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month via Zoom. To register or for more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find them on Facebook.
Pathways to Care is a community-driven and youth-led systems change project committed to transforming the mental healthcare system for Black children, youth and their families. The Pathways to Care project aims to increase access to mental healthcare for Black children, youth, and their families who live in six key regions in Southern Ontario: Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Windsor
Autism Ontario offers Black Caregiver Check in and Chat. This virtual check-in and chat is guided by a Black mental health professional. These monthly sessions are an opportunity for Black Caregivers supporting an individual on the autism spectrum to share and discuss their unique experiences in a welcoming and compassionate environment. Interested? Contact Phone: 416-246-9592 ext. 238 or Email: email@example.com to ask when the next session is and how you can register.
Black Family Support Program Malton Neighbourhood Services is now offering a Parent Communication program for parents within the Black community in Peel. Working from a culturally-informed perspective the program was developed for parents /caregivers to build on cultural identity, values and practices.
Delta Family Resource Centre Delta uses “pop-up” infrastructure to deliver a culturally focused centre for Black families. It includes drop-in programming for children and parents, parenting workshops and supports, tween workshops, African heritage programs, workshops for families involved with child welfare, grief support, capacity building supports for families, and community referrals
The Heritage Skills Developmental Centre program delivers parenting / caregiver-focused and parent and youth / child workshops to foster more meaningful and positive interactions and communication skills within families. The program targets newcomer parents and is co-located in a Toronto Community Housing building in Scarborough. It includes a counselling component for participants experiencing family conflict, separation, and other issues and networking opportunities for participants to make connections with guest speakers from key systems (e.g. child welfare) to build capacity for parents to interact with those systems.
John Howard Society’s “Together We Are” program recognizes the diversity and strength that exists within Black families and aims to empower and support parents and caregivers of Black children. The program is delivered in six 2 hour sessions and focuses on engaging parents and their children (ages 6 to 11).
The Nigerian Canadians for Cultural, Educational and Economic Programs (Windsor) (NCCEEP) program for Black parents and youth offers culturally responsive counselling and family mediation, and includes workshops and in-person meetings. The program aims to address mental health challenges and stigma in the community.
The Regroupement Ethnoculturel des parents Francophones de l’Ontario & Centre de Ressources Éducatives pour les Parents Noirs Centre for French-speaking Black families (Ottawa) offers in-person coffee clubs, parenting workshops, a website to support parents to access and navigate programs, culturally responsive activities for parents and children, confidential consultations with a mental health professional, drop-in groups, home visits, pre-school age school readiness supports, and culturally relevant referrals where necessary.
Black Youth Helpline serves all youth and specifically responds to the need for a Black youth specific service, positioned and resourced to promote access to professional, culturally appropriate support for youth, families and schools. Services are driven by the voices of participants who call the “Helpline.” Can I help you? Are therefore not simply spoken words. We are passionate about making a difference.
TAIBU Community Health Centre (CHC) is a multidisciplinary, non-for-profit, community led organization established to serve the Black Community across the Greater Toronto Area as its priority population.
Mental Health Resources For Black People and Racialized Communities
Young and Potential Fathers (YPF) (Toronto West) supports and mentors young Black Canadian men in the Greater Toronto Area. YPF provides father-focused and culturally sensitive assistance for young men to build resiliency and increase father involvement.YPF helps fathers build character and create parenting programs through personal one-on-one supports. Additionally it connects fathers with direct services related to the personal barriers that they may be challenged with such as employment, housing, access and visitation, anger management, legal aid, and more.
Toronto For All has compiled a list of Anti-Black Racism and Mental Health Resources in this PDF.
Mental Health Commission of Canada has created this resource Shining a Light on Mental Health in Black Communities.
Across Boundaries provides equitable, inclusive and holistic mental health and addiction services for racialized people across the Greater Toronto Area. Across Boundaries acknowledges the impact of racism and anti-Black-racism on mental health. We believe in empowering individuals to take control of their health in their healing journeys.
FAHMAS Foundation offers programs such as the Black Mental Health – ACB Counselling Program. These outreach programs and educational sessions provide information and resources to help eliminate stereotypes and stigma about mental health and addiction in the black community. Through these sessions, we are able to open the doors to have conversations about mental health, redefine what it is, and share knowledge to clarify misconceptions.
Women’s Health In Women’s Hands is a Community Health Centre for racialized women living in Toronto and surrounding municipalities. The Mandate of Women’s Health in Women’s Hands (WHIWH) Community Health Centre is to provide primary healthcare to racialized women from the African, Black, Caribbean, Latin American and South Asian communities in Toronto and surrounding municipalities. We are committed to working from an inclusive feminist, pro-choice, anti-racist, anti-oppression, and multilingual participatory framework in addressing the issue of access to healthcare for our mandated priority populations encompassing age, gender, gender identity, race, class, violence, sexual orientation, religion, culture, language, disability, immigration status and socio-economic circumstances.
The Blind Stigma podcast hosted by Stacy-Ann Buchanan and Dr. Natasha Williams aims to provide a safe space that explores mental health within the black community, break down the stigmas attached and take back our narratives.
Tropicana Community Services offers culturally aware and supportive programs to those in need, including but not limited to counselling, settlement services, childcare, education, personal development, and employment services, with a predominant focus on the Caribbean, Black and African communities of Toronto.
The Mental Health Coalition’s Resource Library is made available by our alliance of the leading mental health organizations. We encourage you to browse this database to learn about mental health, help a loved one, learn coping skills and seek support.
Substance Abuse Program for African Canadian and Caribbean Youth SAPACCY provides support and counselling to African and Caribbean Canadian youth who are dealing with problem substance use and mental health concerns.
Equity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Framework Addictions and Mental Health Ontario has finalized our Equity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Framework. The Equity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Framework provides guidance and direction for how AMHO and our members will advance equity, anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion, starting with a preliminary focus on Indigenous Peoples and Black Peoples. We are deeply committed to this work.
Canada-Wide Resources For Black People and Racialized Communities
The Black Health Alliance is a community-led registered charity working to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada. Building on our track record as an effective mobilizer and champion, we continue to grow our movement for change. Driven by groundbreaking research, strong partnerships, and people, this movement continues to build innovative solutions to improve Black health and well-being, and mobilize people and financial resources to create lasting change in the lives of Black children, families and communities.
The African Canadian Christian Network ACCN offers a Black-led parenting group program and online resources that will support parents to advocate for children and youth. It includes targeting engagement of parents through faith-based organizations.
Crisis Services Canada has compiled resources for marginalized communities and allies. This page is designed to be a helpful starting point, whether you are a member of a marginalized community looking for resources to support your well-being and mental health, or are interested in becoming or being a better Ally.
Canadian African Canadian Social Services CAFCAN is a registered charitable organization whose primary focus is on building and strengthening the service framework for African Canadian children, youth and families through culturally safe individual and group counselling supports, case management services, employment services, youth mentorship, and youth outreach programs.
Anti-Racism Health Resources
Ontario’s Anti-Black Racism Strategy is the government’s roadmap for addressing anti-Black racism and improving outcomes for Black communities.
Ontario’s anti-racism strategic plan outlines how we’re taking proactive steps to fight and prevent systemic racism in government decision-making, programs and services.
The Ontario Black Youth Action Plan has funded 10 programs under the Innovative Supports for Black Parents Initiative. Read about the programs on this page and visit links to their websites.
Ontario’s Black Youth Action Plan (BYAP) works toward eliminating systemic, race-based disparities by increasing opportunities for Black children, youth and families across the province.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada has issued a statement on race and dementia, which is available on their website.
Canadian Paediatric Society offers antiracism resources for child and youth care providers, a selected list of resources on racism in health care and medicine, its effects on children and youth, and how health professionals can learn about and practice antiracism.
CAMH is launching Dismantling Anti-Black Racism, a strategy that includes 22 actions to decrease anti-Black racism at CAMH by 2022. The strategy was developed in consultation with an external community advisory group and outlines a plan to accomplish the following:
• ensure safe, accessible and equitable care for Black patients and families;
• build an equitable working environment for Black staff; and,
• eliminate unfair treatment for Black populations within CAMH and across the mental health system.
Information and Education For Providers
Autism Ontario’s Webinar – Equity-Based Health Promotion for Black Mothers of Children with Developmental Disabilities: Consideration for Practice and Policy during COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond shares the findings of a qualitative study of the challenges and strengths of black mothers of children with developmental disabilities. It also discusses recommendations from the “approaches to care” section of the 2018 Canadian consensus guidelines on primary care for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and provide suggestions for improving diversity and inclusion within the places where we practice and receive care. We will conclude with recognizing the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic for racialized families of children and youth with developmental disabilities.
Alliance for Healthier Communities strives meaningfully recognize and incorporate the specific needs and perspectives of Black communities in our work and among our members. To enable this, the Alliance has a Black Health Committee and its objectives are:
• To advance an agenda prioritizing Black health in Ontario.
• To examine health issues impacting Black populations across the province and provide strategic oversight in the development of policies and actions that improve overall health outcomes.
• To promote collaboration with key stakeholders to champion the development and uptake of a comprehensive Black health strategy
Resources from the Alliance Black Health Committee:
• Black Experiences in Health Care Symposium Report
• Diversity of the Black population in Canada (Stats Canada)
• Advancing Black Health Strategy in Ontario
- International Resources
OCO’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Statement
This statement pledges OCO to “value the inherent worth of every person” and all of our differences, including age, ancestry, disability, gender expression, gender identity, race, religion and sexual orientation. It also commits OCO to recognizing the “rights, respect, trust, co-operation, and partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples”, and to championing the “inclusion, diversity, equality, equity and accessibility in the learning, work and service environments”.*
*Note: The OCO credits the University Health Network (UHN) for their Diversity and Inclusion statement, upon which OCO’s is based.
Know of a resource that’s missing from this page? A new program or service that might be useful for Black caregivers & communities? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know!