Minister of Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett made the announcement on Friday.
"Black communities in Canada continue to face many systemic challenges and barriers to mental health care, and our government is committed to addressing them," Bennett said. "The projects announced today will create environments for improved mental health outcomes and will ensure that Black individuals and communities across Canada experiencing mental health challenges have access to the most appropriate, culturally relevant supports and services they need, by the most appropriate provider."
A statement from the federal government says that the "project will reach mental health clinicians across Canada, including both Black providers treating Black individuals, as well as non-Black providers working in areas with high proportions of Black clientele.
The Mental Health Services for Black Youth program will allocate its funding to help black people deal with the trauma that they experienced during Covid, the statement adds. "This initiative will take a community-driven participatory approach to the development of culturally-safe, equity-focused mental health services. It will also support Black youth and their families to help prevent and mitigate the impacts of diverse forms of trauma exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic recovery."
Blacks-only funding is not new for the Trudeau government, who launched a black entrepreneurship loan fund in September of 2021, that would provide loans for black-owned businesses, of up to $250,000.
"The pandemic has shone a light on the inequalities that disproportionately hurt Black Canadians, and has underscored the need to restart our economy in a way that allows all Canadians an equal chance to succeed. That is why today – thanks in part to the leadership, advocacy, and expertise of Black business owners and Black-led organizations – we are announcing Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program," said Trudeau upon the fund's announcement. "As we move forward, this program will help support Black entrepreneurs and create new opportunities for Black-owned businesses, so they are well-positioned for our economic recovery."
"The road to recovery is complex for those who have experienced mental health challenges and trauma – especially for people who face social exclusion, marginalization, and stigma. This why our government is proud to support organizations like Black Mental Health Canada and Wanasah to build Black-centric and trauma-responsive services to better serve the mental health needs of these communities," said Truedau's Minister for Women and Gender Equality Marci Ien.
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