Project Spotlight: Black Mental Health Canada

Utilizing an Afrocentric Framework in Mental Health Care: Afrocentric counselling and training

Building capacity among clinicians to provide mental health counselling and support to the Black community


Primary Audience:

  • Mental health clinicians across Canada – both Black providers treating Black individuals as well as non-Black providers working in areas with high proportions of Black clientele.

Secondary Audience:

  • Organizations, agencies, and businesses serving the Black community



To equip clinicians with the knowledge and skills on how to effectively provide support to Black clients, especially for those who have experienced Racial Trauma and/or Race Based Traumatic Stress


  1. Deliver a comprehensive Black mental health curriculum utilizing an Afrocentric framework for practitioners.
  2. Create and deliver training to other organizations beyond the field of mental health practitioners in key sectors that interact with the Black community.



  • Online
  • Community

Implementation sites

  • National


  • Social exclusion, marginalization, and stigma often make the pathways to care more complex among people of African descent which was exacerbated by COVID-19.
  • BMHC aims to improve access to culturally safe and affirm mental health care through education.


In the words of the project team members

“We felt training clinicians and building their capacity was sort of the first step in at least encouraging the Black community to access mental health services, because before we can start even getting individuals and Black communities to seek services, we want to make sure that that we have capacity as clinicians to be able to speak to their needs and speak to their concerns.”

Key protective factors

  • Supportive relationships in the community
  • Education
  • Valuing diversity (e.g., gender, race, culture)
  • Equity

Key approaches

  • Culturally safe/responsive
  • Afrocentric care