Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund reveals 11 new grant recipients

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Bell Let’s Talk has announced $1.1 million in new grants from the Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund to support 11 additional organizations helping to create positive change for members of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities in Canada.

The Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund provides grants for organizations working to reduce the stigma of mental illness and increase access to culturally informed mental health and well-being support for BIPOC communities. Since the launch in 2020, 39 organizations from the across the country have received grants.

Eleven new organizations providing mental health services to a wide range of people in many diverse communities around the country have been selected to receive grants from the Diversity Fund.

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“We are delighted to announce our latest Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund recipients. These organizations are delivering much needed supports and services in many diverse communities across the country. The grants are helping these organizations to take meaningful action to help create positive change for people struggling with mental health issues. Congratulations to these outstanding 11 organizations,” said, Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk.

Here are the grant recipients:

AGIR: Action lesbienne, gai, bisexuelle, trans et queer (LGBTQ) avec les immigrantEs et les réfugiéEs
Canadian Centre for Victims of Armed Conflicts
Foxe Basin North Kivalliq Sapujiyiit/ Guardians of the Sea Society
Kehewin Native Dance Theatre
Mount Carmel Clinic
Mshkikii Gamik Medicine Lodge at Health Sciences North
Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad Inc
The Refugee Centre
Woodstock First Nation Health Centre

“This Bell Let’s Talk financial support will strengthen Mount Carmel Clinic’s braid of culturally relevant, sensitive and Elder-led health care programming and mental health services in Winnipeg. This generous gift will provide much needed support to enhance community engagement and connections through Indigenous ways of being, doing and knowing. Providing cultural health services to Indigenous people that are unique and relevant to their present and past needs, histories and experiences helps us to offer community care that is safe, caring and holistic. We are deeply grateful for this support and look forward to continuing our work together,” said, Debra Diubaldo, Wisdom Holder and Community Auntie and Bobbette Shoffner, Executive Director, Mount Carmel Clinic.

“We are thrilled to receive a Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund grant for our Arab Refugees and Newcomers Counselling Program. This program will offer access to mental health support services, such as drop-in counselling, group counselling, support groups, and crisis intervention to refugees and immigrants coming from the Middle-East and North African Countries. With this grant, our program will be able to reduce barriers to access mental health services for Arab refugees and newcomers,” explained, Ayoub Cherkaoui, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Armed Conflicts.

“Foxe Basin Kivalliq North Sapujiyiit/Guardians of the Sea Society began as a grassroots initiative to protect the land, waters and people of Chesterfield Inlet, Coral Harbour and Naujaat, Nunavut, but has evolved to include mental health as a main component of our work due to the special connection Inuit have to the land. Support from Bell Let’s Talk will allow the Sapujiyiit Society to integrate mental health services with being on the land through workshops and support systems designed to deal with the unique concerns of Inuit mental health in Nunavut,” said, Sarah Newell, Executive Director and Lead Researcher, Sapujiyiit Society.

“Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’ has been supporting Kanien’kéha (Mohawk) language learners on a grassroots level since 2019. We are thankful to be receiving funding from Bell Let’s Talk to target support of the mental health, wellness and capacity of our organization and the Kanien’kéha language learning community. We believe mental health, healing and wellness are core components of language learning and we are so excited to have this opportunity to invest in those components,” explained, Shea Sky, Co-Founder & Co-Director, Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’.

“The Refugee Centre serves thousands of refugees and newcomers across Montréal every year, developing and providing culturally safe and innovative programming to help and empower our community. This support from Bell Let’s Talk will enable the Refugee Centre to catalyze and enhance our efforts by focusing on reducing mental health stigma in BIPOC communities and directing newcomers/refugees to culturally safe resources. By improving our capacity to provide trauma-informed wellness support, we aim to strengthen mental health/wellness during the newcomer resettlement process, which has been particularly challenging pre & post-COVID-19,” said, Abdulla Daoud, Executive Director, Refugee Centre.

“VIBE Arts is thrilled to be a recipient of a Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund grant, supporting our Boreal Creates Arts for Mental Health and Community Engagement Program. This funding will enable us to collaborate with community organizations in Northern Ontario. Together we will deliver culturally relevant arts programs that build trust with community members and encourage
access to mental health and wellness support services in a welcoming, low-barrier and meaningful way,” said, Katie Hutchinson, Executive Director, VIBE Arts.

“The Woodstock First Nation Health Centre is thrilled to receive a Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund grant to help establish an Indigenous Youth Outreach Program – which will empower the youth in our community, and ensure health equity to better address Indigenous health priorities. This support from Bell Let’s Talk will assist in connecting youth to their culture and community and increase access to culturally appropriate mental health and well-being. While much remains to be done, together, in partnership with Bell Let’s Talk – we are taking the first step to creating positive change,” Amanda McIntosh, Health Director, Woodstock First Nation Health Centre.