Theme of the conference

The three themes of the conferece: 

1.     Social Determinants and Racial Issues Affecting the Mental Health and Well-Being of Black Individuals in Canada and Elsewhere in the West.

As described above, Black people are more likely to experience inequalities in social and systemic determinants known to impact mental health and well-being (e.g., poor housing, underemployment, food insecurity). In addition, there is ample evidence that Black individuals experience different forms of racial discrimination across all sectors of Canadian society. Proposals could:

  • Explore, describe or document the current state of affairs with respect to one or more social determinants of mental health in Black communities in Canada.
  • Explore or describe Black people's experiences of racism and their impact on mental health and well-being.
  • Explore intersectional determinants related to race, gender, sexual orientation, and other social and economic factors. 

2.     Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention in Black and Racialized Communities in Canada

Black and racialized people in Canada come from many diverse communities, including those of African and Caribbean descent as well as new Canadians. Each community has its own history, and ethno-cultural and religious traditions that can affect factors related to expressions of mental health (e.g., expressions of psychological distress), stigma, and help-seeking behaviours. We are looking for proposals that address or explore issues related to these communities and their unique characteristics with respect to mental health promotion and mental illness prevention strategies. Proposals could:

  • Identify community mobilization strategies for active participation in mental health promotion programs.
  • Describe the approaches used in mental health prevention programmes.
  • Examine the factors contributing to the sustainability of mental health programs. 
  • Characterize community experiences related to mental health prevention programs

 3.     Culturally and Racially Appropriate Mental Health Innovations and Interventions for Black People in Canada.

Mental health services in Canada are often inadequately adapted to meet the needs of Black and racialized clients/patients. In addition, there is evidence that some practitioners may cause harm, either unintentionally or intentionally, due to prejudice, inadequate training and other factors. We are looking for proposals related to innovative approaches to the provision of mental health care for Black and racialized people. Proposals could:

  • Present innovative training programmes for mental health professionals on issues related to cultural safety and/or addressing experiences of racism.
  • Present innovations or developments in hospital or clinical programmes to increase access to mental health care and/or provide appropriate care.
  • Report on good practices and mechanisms for dealing with complaints against racial discrimination in health institutions.
  • Introduce tools for assessing racial issues affecting the mental health of Black people.
  • Outline the partnership strategies used by practitioners and clients from Black communities and their families in managing chronic mental health problems. 

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