The IMARA Generation Project adopts an Africentric approach to supporting youth, aged 15-18 and 18+. It is based on the Mental Health First Aid model. The four-year project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Black youth are designing the program to support youth to:
- Address the stigma of stress and mental health
- Build youth capacity to recognize symptoms and effect of mental illness
- Have direct access to mental health services from Black mental health professionals
- Build knowledge and understanding among Black families to mentor their youth
- Facilitate direct support for parents/guardians
- Inform institutions such as, education, health, not-for-profit and faith-based organizations to help them provide culturally appropriate access services for Black youth and their families.
Black youth experience the highest rate of unemployment of any other group in the GTA.
70% of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence.
34% of Ontario high school students indicate a moderate to serious level of psychological distress.
Racism and poverty are two social determinants that are systemically impacting the mental wellbeing of Black communities and specifically, Black youth.
The IMARA project is funded by Public Health Agency of Canada
“There are so few resources created for the Black community, so this program fills a huge gap – it considers the systemic racism we face every day in school and in society. When I was in the room, I realized others struggled with same questions I’d been wondering about for years, and this was where we were finding the answers.”
“I got to hear the lived experiences of other people’s lives, learn, connect, and be more empathetic of their wellbeing, their individual challenges, and understand the depths of institutional racism. It’s truly a life changing experience It was education beyond anything else offered anywhere else.”
Admin Assistant/Program Facilitator