This Black History Month, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has announced a new strategy intended to decrease anti-Black racism by the end of the year.
The strategy, dubbed Dismantling Anti-Black Racism, was developed in consultation with an external community advisory group and includes 22 actions intended to decrease racism by 2022.
The plan is designed to accomplish the following:
- ensure safe, accessible and equitable care for Black patients and families;
- build an equitable working environment for Black staff; and,
- eliminate unfair treatment for Black populations within CAMH and across the mental health system.
“Systemic racism is a barrier to high-quality health care for Black patients—at CAMH and across the health care system,” Catherine Zahn, president and CEO of CAMH, said in a news release
“This can’t be tolerated. Black individuals and communities have a right to equitable access to high-quality health care. Our staff has the right to a workplace that acknowledges and addresses this burden of inequity,” she continued.
Additionally, according to the release, Black people in the GTA are more likely to report poor mental health than people who are not Black, and Black people in Ontario are more likely to access mental health care through emergency or police services.
“Growing evidence from Canadian studies and from our own analysis of CAMH data shows differences in the risk of mental illness and outcomes of care for Black populations,” Kwame McKenzie, director of Health Equity for CAMH, said in the release.
“Unfair and unjust treatment have no place in our mental health system and CAMH is committed to ensuring that anti-Black racism is eliminated,” he continued.