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  • Elizabeth Eldridge

We See You: Mental Health Resources for Marginalized Groups


June is Pride Month in Canada, serving as a both a celebration of our important forward movement in recognizing the rights of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and a reminder that our work is far from done. Monday of this week marked National Indigenous Peoples Day, which happened to come in the wake of the horrifying discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children in southern British Columbia on the grounds of what was the country’s largest residential school. Today I’m attending the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s virtual Women in Business Summit, learning the unique challenges women business owners and C-suite executives are faced with in recovering from the pandemic given the disproportionate impact. Every day, members of marginalized groups face unique barriers – and tapping in to effective support for mental health problems is unfortunately no exception.


We know that stigma and lack of access to help are the two biggest challenges Canadians face when it comes to recovery from mental distress. In addition to these issues, members of minority groups often experience other obstacles including discrimination and systemic barriers. Research shows that our publicly funded health care system and other “mainstream” supports don’t always do the best job of meeting diverse needs. Being knowledgeable about specialized resources will help you to connect members of underrepresented groups in your workplace (and personal life) with meaningful help when it matters most. Here are a few to get you started.


Hope for Wellness

www.hopeforwellness.ca | 1.855.242.3310

Offering immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to Indigenous peoples across Canada, phone and live chat services are available in English and French 24/7, with Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut services available on request.


POC Online Classroom

www.poconlineclassroom.com

Resources by and for people of colour, aiming to amplify the voices of marginalized communities and provide education on social justice issues. This site includes a fantastic section on mental health and self care specifically through a BIPOC lens.


Trans Lifeline

www.translifeline.org | 1.877.330.6366

Run by and for members of the trans/nonbinary and questioning community, Trans Lifeline is a confidential peer support phone service that has answered over 100,000 calls to date.


Indian Residential School Survivors Society

www.irsss.ca | 1.800.721.0066

For 20 years this BC-based organization has played a major advocacy and awareness role in addition to providing a multitude of services to survivors of Canada’s residential school system.


211

www.211.ca | Dial 2-1-1

As Canada’s primary source of information for community-based and social services, a system navigator accessed by phone can help you to find geographically appropriate resources that meet a person’s individual needs. It’s available 24/7 and in more than 150 different languages.



Are you aware of a specialized mental health resource we should know about? Drop it in the Comments section below. We’d certainly appreciate any additions to our list!


Thanks for reading, everyone. Wishing you a mentally healthy remainder to the week!

Elizabeth Eldridge is a Psychological Health & Safety Consultant based in southern New Brunswick, Canada. In addition to frequent keynote speaking and corporate training on mental health she is the owner/operator of Arpeggio Health Services, Atlantic Canada’s largest provider of public mental health trainings. Learn more at elizabetheldridge.com, summitcorporatewellness.com and arpeggiohealthservices.com.


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