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Toronto Mental Health Agencies to Form Task Force to Address Anti-Black Racism


Photo: David Willis

TORONTOJuly 7, 2020 /CNW/ – Infant, Child and Youth Mental Health agencies across Toronto have committed to launch a Task Force to develop a multi-year road map to make a measurable impact on anti-Black racism. This commitment is part of a statement released today entitled “We Commit to Action on Anti-Black Racism”. The statement comes amid growing public attention on the issue of systemic anti-Black racism in the wake of much-publicized incidents of violence in the US and Canada.

“Our sector has long strived to reflect and support racialized and marginalized individuals, families and communities, but the events of recent weeks called for some deeper reflection,” says David Willis, Director of Toronto’s Lead Agency for Children’s Mental Health, System Transformation. “We felt the need to ask the difficult questions at our tables about bias, our role in perpetuating stigma and stereotypes, and how we can do better because we recognize that overt and subtle forms of anti-Black racism have a significant impact on the mental health and life outcomes of Black community members.”

The statement recognizes racism as a public health crisis with far-reaching impact. “As leaders, agencies, a service network and as a society, we have the responsibility to be active allies in making the changes required to create a just and equitable society,” it reads. “We commit to working with the Lead Agency to form a Task Force with the mandate to develop a multi-year road map to make a measurable impact in relation to anti-Black racism… We will work towards aligning our sector’s programs, policies and practices with best practices in anti-racism and anti-oppression.”

Photo: Janet McCrimmon

The Task Force is the latest in several steps the partners have taken to respond to anti-Black racism. “Our agencies have long been committed to anti-racism, anti-oppression and supporting marginalized and racialized communities,” says Janet McCrimmon, CEO of Strides Toronto. “From policies to training about anti-Black racism, we are committed to working to eliminate racism from our services and from our City.”

Read the full statement at:  https://bit.ly/ABRLeadAgency

About Toronto’s Infant, Child and Youth Mental Health Agencies
26 community-based mental health agencies comprise a network of core service providers delivering responsive, accessible services for infants, children, youth and their families in Toronto. These agencies’ CEOs meet regularly to share expertise, experiences and insight to inform the system transformation process. To access services, call Mental Health TO at 1-866-585-6486 (toll free).

About Toronto’s Lead Agency for Infant, Children and Youth Mental Health
Toronto’s Lead Agency for Infant, Children and Youth Mental Health is focused on transforming the experience of infants, children, youth and families with mental health challenges. This includes developing and operationalizing system-wide changes to improve access, experience and outcomes for Toronto’s diverse communities.

SOURCE Strides Toronto

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