Black Space Winnipeg with support from The Women's Health Clinic presents. Project Heal, our community group-therapy program that provides safe space for Black people in Winnipeg who want to work towards positive mental health practices and work through trauma.
This program is for anyone our community who are facing symptoms of depression and anxiety that can be directly linked to racism and dealing with trauma from anti-Black discrimination. Anti-Black Racism is defined as policies and practices rooted in Canadian institutions such as, education, health care, and justice that mirror and reinforce beliefs, attitudes, prejudice, stereotyping and/or discrimination towards people of Black-African descent (Black Health Alliance, 2018).
As the conversation around mental health continues to grow across our city, we have noticed a lack of support for Black people facing mental health challenges and experiencing systemic discrimination in Winnipeg. Increasing interactions of anti-Black racism and discrimination has an undeniable link to the psychological wellbeing of Black people. Our program hopes to confront, respond and ensure our community is receiving accessible counselling services that fosters community healing and restores relationships within Black communities across Winnipeg.
Whether facing anxiety or depression, dealing with racism in the workplace or facing harassment from a peer or authority figure, our community deserves to have access to healthcare services that affirm and legitimize the experiences Black people face collectively in regards to racism, colonization, white supremacy and trauma. We hope to create a program that responds to the needs our community is lacking from institutional healthcare services and develop positive mental health practices that break cycles of trauma for generations to come through community healing.
Need for Project Heal?
Inadequate healthcare services affects many communities. Project Heal stems from the lack of institutional support that our healthcare system fails to provide. We need education around better mental health practices that increase more harmonious social interactions between Black community members and supports a larger dialogue that alerts the public of the insufficient services that affect our communities at large. We want to be preventive and not reactionary and instill services that will benefit our community for years to come while shifting the conversation and stigma of mental health in the Black community of Winnipeg. Statistics are hard to come by for Winnipeg’s Black demographic regarding mental health but in Ontario, the Black Health Alliance provides data that Black Winnipeggers can relate too (see image below):
These statistics outline the effects racism has on Black people in Canada and its relation to mental health severities seen throughout our community. While Black people remain at higher risks for health challenges, we can no longer wait or depend on our municipal, provincial or federal government to meet the needs of our community. The reality is that we have been practicing restorative healing practices for generations but face challenges when securing support from government institutions to maintain community healing.
We are confident that creating a safe space for Black folks in Winnipeg to talk openly about any troubling circumstance they might be facing will know by attending Project Heal that they don’t have to face it alone. The politics of racism, white supremacy is to convince people of colour that the trauma they’re experiencing is not happening, creating more isolation and confusion that presents damaging effects for Black people psychologically. We have to maintain space that acknowledges our pain while getting to a healing space in a healthy and positive environment.
Registration for Project Heal is now closed, we encourage interested community members to stay tuned for future programs. If you or anyone you know are looking for accessible resources for mental health please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org