We're a Canadian Trans and Black-led non-profit based in the Greater Toronto area focused on supporting the urgent mental health needs of Black men across intersections. This project provides support through professional psychology and therapeutic services, educational resources, workshops and discussion groups, advocacy, and the creative arts, to ensure that more men, especially those most marginalized, are equipped with the right tools, resources, and support needed to care for their mental well-being.
For years, Black men in Canada have disproportionately faced challenges in receiving the mental health support they need due to cultural barriers, traditional conceptions of masculinity, damaging racial stereotypes, stigma, economic status, and lack of affordable and/or adequate resources. This reality is only further compounded for Black men, especially Black Trans, gay, and differently-abled men, who may be more vulnerable to factors that are linked to poorer mental health outcomes such as; unemployment, housing insecurity, poverty, police brutality, criminalization, and discrimination.
Recently, there has been a notable rise in individual and collective movements to challenge these harmful trends and highlight the importance of Black men’s psychological and emotional wellness. Despite these efforts, access to quality mental health and psychosocial support remains an enormous barrier.
For many in the community, finding a counsellor who understands, affirms and is responsive to their identity is challenging — and nearly impossible when limited to the scarce affordable options available. A recent study from the Mental Health Commission found that wait times for mental health care for Black-Caribbean populations averaged 16 months, more than twice that for White patients. Studies show that economic status often makes up a significant part of Black men’s mental health concerns today, indicating the critical importance of greater financial investment in getting therapy for more men.
The Black Men's Therapy Fund began as a small project in 2021 during the COVID-19 Pandemic as we witnessed the amplification of mental health issues for many, the resources that were already limited, plunge, leaving many not able to recover. Covid-19 was an addition as two-thirds of Black Canadians were already suffering from depression (CTV News, 2021), suicide being the second leading cause of death among Black Men in the United States (OMH, 2021), men in general account for more than 75% of suicide rates in Canada (CBC, 2021), and three times more likely to experience addiction and substance abuse than women in Canada (CBC, 2021).
Our initial goal with this project was to raise $30,000 CAD to:
Supply ten Black men with professional and culturally competent therapy for a one-year period with a particular focus on queer, trans, and differently-abled men,
Launch a four-month holistic wellness program inclusive of workshops, community support dialogues, music and mindfulness sessions that are specifically designed to centre the mental wellness of Black men and confront the complex barriers they face, and
Develop a practical resource that Black men across identities can use to support self-directed emotional healing and de-escalation.
When not being able to raise our GoFundMe goal we set for a different path by connecting and partner with community organizations.
We were seeking alternative approaches and visioning – community intentional care, love, vulnerability, and exploration of joy that is lived experienced driven – we would be able to cultivate a future whereby Black men, especially those most vulnerable, can heal from past traumas, cultivate joy for themselves and their communities, and achieve their full potential. We do this in four areas of work:
What is the BLACK MEn's THERAPY FUND
Horticultural/Earthwork Based Workshops
Offering theoretical discussion and a hands-on opportunity to explore how planting, gardening therapy, and reconnecting with nature can provide sustainable pathways to improve our mental health and well-being.
'Shifting the Narrative' / Cultivating Change Dialogues/Workshops
Fostering environments that explores harmful ideas of masculinity that lead to negative outcomes and support men's exploration of intentional, loving and healthier alternatives to masculinity.
Growing The Future LAB
Research and development
An ongoing research on masculinity intersects with mental health by focusing on past, present and emerging themes related to masculinity, love, connection and joy. fdsfsfsfdsfdfsfdsfdfdsfsdfdsfsdfdsfdsfdsffsfdsfdsfdsfsfsfsfsfsfsfsfdsfsdfdsfsfsfdsfdsffsdfdsfsf