The Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund and iHeartRadio recently launched a new podcast series that discusses mental health and the issues facing Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities. The first episode debuted October 6, 2021 and continues for five more weeks. Each episode will feature conversations with guests from various ethno-cultural communities throughout Canada and mental health experts.
From Where We Stand: Conversations on Race and Mental Health is hosted by CHUM 104.5 Morning Show Co-Host Jamar McNeil, CTV’s Your Morning’s Anne-Marie Mediwake, and broadcaster and comedian, Candy Palmater. In conversation with the hosts, guests will delve deep into personal stories and mental health challenges facing members of these communities.
Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk, said she is pleased this new series will put a spotlight on mental health in culturally diverse communities. “By taking part in these podcast conversations, this informed, diverse group of mental health experts and people with lived-experience will help advance mental health and wellness in new and necessary ways,” she said.
Weekly episodes will explore a wide range of topics including inter generational trauma, first generation immigrant experiences, unique language barriers, and finding culturally affirmative mental health care. As well as offering a supportive space for sharing, the stories and experiences give those who are not experiencing mental illness a chance to relate and empathize with the speakers.
The first podcast that aired on October 6 featured guests Arzoo Multani, Petrona Joseph, Amy Go, and Ehsan Saadat. Each shared their experiences as first-generation Canadians and how leaving their countries behind and making Canada their new home impacted their mental health. A therapist with The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) also joined in on the discussion to explain these traumatic life experiences and ways to cope.
Mediwake said the podcast gives racially marginalized friends and families a place to offer help, healing, and insight. “We’re not just hearing stories, we’re providing expert help and resources,” she said. “I invite all Canadians to join us for these important conversations.”
The Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund supports the mental health and well-being of BIPOC communities across Canada; since its launch in 2020, it has distributed $2.25 million in grants to support organizations working to improve access to mental health care.
Mental health resources
If you or someone you know is in crisis, seek help at your local hospital or call 911. For information about mental health services in your area, visit www.cmha.ca
The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Services are available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut. Call toll-free 1-855-242-3310 or connect to an online chat at hopeforwellness.ca
Kids Help Phone can connect you with an Indigenous volunteer crisis responder. Young people can text FIRST NATIONS, INUIT, or METIS to 686868; and adults can text 741741. Help is also available through Facebook Messenger.
And youth and families can access support and services at the Black Youth Helpline by calling toll-free 1-833-294-8650 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org