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City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health support Black Mental Health Week

Mayor Olivia Chow, on behalf of Toronto City Council, will officially proclaim Black Mental Health Week in Toronto starting Monday, March 4 through to Sunday, March 10.

This year’s theme of ‘Growth and Reflection’ aligns with the City’s observance of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, now in its final year, and its three themes of recognition, justice and development. Black Mental Health Week also aims to facilitate discussion and cultivate greater awareness of the impacts of systemic anti-Black racism on Black communities, families and individuals.

Throughout the week, events organized and hosted by the City and Black-serving community organizations will delve into issues around anti-Black racism and mental health while providing knowledge and tools to support positive change.

Events include, but are not limited to:
• An opening ceremony at Tropicana Community Services, including keynote address from Spiritual Liberation Activist, Aina-Nia Ayo’dele
• A facilitated community engagement discussion to inform the development of Toronto’s 10-Year Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism, marking the start of a series of discussions that will shape the future of our city
• An engaging and informative online panel focused on improving and celebrating Black men’s mental and physical health.

Details about these and other events, including registration information, are available at:

Black Mental Health Day was first established by the City in 2020 and was expanded and proclaimed to Black Mental Health Week in 2021. The City’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit has once again partnered with TAIBU Community Health Centre – a not-for-profit, community-led organization that serves Black communities across the Greater Toronto Area – to develop Black Mental Health Week events, along with additional community partners Tropicana Community Services, Strides Toronto, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, Delta Family Resource Centre, and Black Heath Alliance.

The week is also a call to action for continued efforts to dismantle and eliminate anti-Black racism, and for increased supports and improved access for Black people and communities to culturally-responsive mental health services and programs, such as the Toronto Community Crisis Service (TCCS). Launched as a pilot in 2022 and expanding city-wide in 2024, the TCCS represents a fundamental shift in mental health crisis response and a milestone in the City’s work to address systemic anti-Black racism.

In November 2023, the City unveiled “Our Health, Our City: A Mental Health, Substance Use, Harm Reduction, and Treatment Strategy for Toronto”. This comprehensive strategy highlights the City’s dedication to mitigating substance use-related harms and fostering positive mental health and wellbeing. Anti-Black racism contributes to mental health disparities and, in addition to systemic inequities, can prevent people from connecting with services.

Our Health, Our City is grounded by the principles of anti-oppression, anti-racism and decolonization, and includes recommendations such as:

• Supporting and expanding programming that employs a race-based, equity lens to mitigate substance use-related harms and initiatives to enhance and sustain the mental health and well-being of diverse African, Caribbean, and Black communities.
• Addressing the mental, physical, and social harms linked to the criminalization of personal drug possession, particularly its disproportionate impact on Black and Indigenous communities.
• Implementing 24/7 harm reduction and supervised consumption services tailored to specific populations (e.g., African, Caribbean, and Black communities) based on evidence and community needs.

More information on the strategy is available on the City’s Our Health, Our City webpage at:

Through the Mental Health Support Strategy, residents from all backgrounds can access free mental health support through text, online or by phone by simply calling 211 or visiting the 211 website. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


“I’m proud to be part of marking Black Mental Health Week in Toronto, an important opportunity to confront the impacts of anti-Black racism on Black Torontonians. This is a call to action for increased support and improved access to culturally responsive mental health services and programs for Toronto’s Black communities.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow

“In recognizing the long, damaging, and stigmatizing history that associates marginalized populations with mental illnesses, it is imperative to understand that mental health issues are neither intrinsic nor inevitable traits of any social group. Existing disparities stem from systemic discrimination, minority stress, violence, colonization, and cycles of poverty and precarity.”
– Councillor Chris Moise (Toronto Centre), Chair of the Board of Health and Chair of the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Advisory Committee

SOURCE City of Toronto

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