Black Mental Health Week (BMHW), March 1-7th 2023, is an opportunity to bring together members of the Ottawa Black Mental Health Coalition (OBMHC) and community partners to share expertise and celebrate innovative leadership in mental health for African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) communities. The Ottawa Black Mental Health Coalition (OBMHC) is a network of more than 20 Black leaders in health and social services, academics, and community associations who have been convening to identify system changes to improve the mental health and well-being of Black residents in Ottawa.
In August 2020, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) published findings from the Mental Health of Ottawa’s Black Community research study.
The study revealed that:
• 72% of participants feel worried or sad for someone with a mental illness;
• 27% of respondents stated they were not comfortable talking about their mental health for fear of appearing weak and being judged by family and friends;
• 66% of respondents agreed that most people in the ACB community think less of a person who has a mental illness; and
• 4 in 10 believe that taking treatment for a mental health problem is a sign of personal failure.
This year, the theme for Black Mental Health Week is Exploring Stigma and Black Mental Health. Through the week, people with lived experience and experts will explore the impact of stigma on the mental health of Ottawa’s ACB community while identifying solutions to reduce stigma and normalize the dialogue around mental health and wellness.
The week will feature a series of speakers to uplift, inform and advance Black Mental Health.
On Monday, March 6th from 1:00-2:00pm, Eva Tchimanga, and Nuradiin Mohamud of Ottawa Public Health will host a virtual education session on Zoom to discuss how the language we use can either hinder or help support mental health and wellness.
For a detailed list of the BMHW activities, please visit the OBMHC Eventbrite page to register.