Project forging Pathways to Care for Black kids, youth in 6 Ontario cities

News Nov 05, 2020 by Megan DeLaire Toronto.com

An initiative aimed at improving the lives of Black children and youth across Ontario has completed eight months of research in Toronto and is now underway in five other cities throughout the province.

Pathways to Care is the result of a cross-sector collaboration between the Black Health Alliance, TAIBU Community Health Centre, the Wellesley Institute, the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) and Strides Toronto.

Its mission is to increase access to mental health and addictions care for Black youth and children in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Windsor, and to build service providers’ capacity to provide culturally competent care.

To get there, researchers will sit down – virtually, through surveys and remote focus groups – with Black children, youth, adults and caretakers, as well as the organizations that provide services to Black children and youth, to identify gaps in access to services and learn how to bridge them.

Fatimah Jackson-Best, a public health researcher specializing in mental health, is in charge of the project.

“All of us want to see the progression, the amplification and the improvement of Black people’s lives and well-being and mental health. So that is the ultimate goal,” Jackson-Best said. “I’m just hoping this achieves moving the dial forward.”

According to the Black Health Alliance, Black Canadians represent 18 per cent of people living in poverty in Canada despite representing only 2.9 per cent of the overall Canadian population. And immigrants from the Caribbean and Bermuda, as well as refugees from East Africa and South Asia, experience up to double the risk of psychotic disorders compared to the general population of Ontario, according to the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and CAMH.

“There’s messaging that everyone has mental health and we have to take care of it, and that messaging is absolutely correct,” Jackson-Best said. “But I would say that the messaging also needs to include that some people have factors that impact their mental health that are out of their control, like racism, discrimination, etcetera.”

By next year, the team behind Pathways hopes to deliver all the information they gathered back to the communities and stakeholders in each of their six target cities by producing a strategic framework, tailored for each city’s needs, that mental health and addiction service providers can use to deliver the best care to Black children and youth. They will also use local data to create interactive maps people in each city can use to find services close to them.

Despite the challenges of launching in Toronto during the COVID-19 pandemic – the first survey to service providers in the city went out the week the pandemic was declared – Jackson-Best said her team gathered a lot of valuable information and used the opportunity to fine-tune the research methods they’ll use in the remaining cities.

She said major events this year, such as the pandemic and the resurgence of public support for the Black Lives Matter movement, have also underscored the need for initiatives like Pathways to Care.

“The pandemic has really underscored just how much mental health challenges are affecting Black communities, due to a range of factors like poverty, income, class, privilege, etcetera,” she said. “All of those have become so much more pronounced through the pandemic.”

To learn more about Pathways to Care, visit pathwaystocare.ca.

Project forging Pathways to Care for Black kids, youth in 6 Ontario cities

Researchers aim to increase access to mental health, addictions services

News Nov 05, 2020 by Megan DeLaire Toronto.com

An initiative aimed at improving the lives of Black children and youth across Ontario has completed eight months of research in Toronto and is now underway in five other cities throughout the province.

Pathways to Care is the result of a cross-sector collaboration between the Black Health Alliance, TAIBU Community Health Centre, the Wellesley Institute, the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) and Strides Toronto.

Its mission is to increase access to mental health and addictions care for Black youth and children in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Windsor, and to build service providers’ capacity to provide culturally competent care.

To get there, researchers will sit down – virtually, through surveys and remote focus groups – with Black children, youth, adults and caretakers, as well as the organizations that provide services to Black children and youth, to identify gaps in access to services and learn how to bridge them.

Related Content

Fatimah Jackson-Best, a public health researcher specializing in mental health, is in charge of the project.

“All of us want to see the progression, the amplification and the improvement of Black people’s lives and well-being and mental health. So that is the ultimate goal,” Jackson-Best said. “I’m just hoping this achieves moving the dial forward.”

According to the Black Health Alliance, Black Canadians represent 18 per cent of people living in poverty in Canada despite representing only 2.9 per cent of the overall Canadian population. And immigrants from the Caribbean and Bermuda, as well as refugees from East Africa and South Asia, experience up to double the risk of psychotic disorders compared to the general population of Ontario, according to the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and CAMH.

“There’s messaging that everyone has mental health and we have to take care of it, and that messaging is absolutely correct,” Jackson-Best said. “But I would say that the messaging also needs to include that some people have factors that impact their mental health that are out of their control, like racism, discrimination, etcetera.”

By next year, the team behind Pathways hopes to deliver all the information they gathered back to the communities and stakeholders in each of their six target cities by producing a strategic framework, tailored for each city’s needs, that mental health and addiction service providers can use to deliver the best care to Black children and youth. They will also use local data to create interactive maps people in each city can use to find services close to them.

Despite the challenges of launching in Toronto during the COVID-19 pandemic – the first survey to service providers in the city went out the week the pandemic was declared – Jackson-Best said her team gathered a lot of valuable information and used the opportunity to fine-tune the research methods they’ll use in the remaining cities.

She said major events this year, such as the pandemic and the resurgence of public support for the Black Lives Matter movement, have also underscored the need for initiatives like Pathways to Care.

“The pandemic has really underscored just how much mental health challenges are affecting Black communities, due to a range of factors like poverty, income, class, privilege, etcetera,” she said. “All of those have become so much more pronounced through the pandemic.”

To learn more about Pathways to Care, visit pathwaystocare.ca.

Project forging Pathways to Care for Black kids, youth in 6 Ontario cities

Researchers aim to increase access to mental health, addictions services

News Nov 05, 2020 by Megan DeLaire Toronto.com

An initiative aimed at improving the lives of Black children and youth across Ontario has completed eight months of research in Toronto and is now underway in five other cities throughout the province.

Pathways to Care is the result of a cross-sector collaboration between the Black Health Alliance, TAIBU Community Health Centre, the Wellesley Institute, the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) and Strides Toronto.

Its mission is to increase access to mental health and addictions care for Black youth and children in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Windsor, and to build service providers’ capacity to provide culturally competent care.

To get there, researchers will sit down – virtually, through surveys and remote focus groups – with Black children, youth, adults and caretakers, as well as the organizations that provide services to Black children and youth, to identify gaps in access to services and learn how to bridge them.

Related Content

Fatimah Jackson-Best, a public health researcher specializing in mental health, is in charge of the project.

“All of us want to see the progression, the amplification and the improvement of Black people’s lives and well-being and mental health. So that is the ultimate goal,” Jackson-Best said. “I’m just hoping this achieves moving the dial forward.”

According to the Black Health Alliance, Black Canadians represent 18 per cent of people living in poverty in Canada despite representing only 2.9 per cent of the overall Canadian population. And immigrants from the Caribbean and Bermuda, as well as refugees from East Africa and South Asia, experience up to double the risk of psychotic disorders compared to the general population of Ontario, according to the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and CAMH.

“There’s messaging that everyone has mental health and we have to take care of it, and that messaging is absolutely correct,” Jackson-Best said. “But I would say that the messaging also needs to include that some people have factors that impact their mental health that are out of their control, like racism, discrimination, etcetera.”

By next year, the team behind Pathways hopes to deliver all the information they gathered back to the communities and stakeholders in each of their six target cities by producing a strategic framework, tailored for each city’s needs, that mental health and addiction service providers can use to deliver the best care to Black children and youth. They will also use local data to create interactive maps people in each city can use to find services close to them.

Despite the challenges of launching in Toronto during the COVID-19 pandemic – the first survey to service providers in the city went out the week the pandemic was declared – Jackson-Best said her team gathered a lot of valuable information and used the opportunity to fine-tune the research methods they’ll use in the remaining cities.

She said major events this year, such as the pandemic and the resurgence of public support for the Black Lives Matter movement, have also underscored the need for initiatives like Pathways to Care.

“The pandemic has really underscored just how much mental health challenges are affecting Black communities, due to a range of factors like poverty, income, class, privilege, etcetera,” she said. “All of those have become so much more pronounced through the pandemic.”

To learn more about Pathways to Care, visit pathwaystocare.ca.