Happy new year, sending you love and positive vibration throughout 2022.
We are a few weeks into the year 2022, and for me personally the year has sort of carried over some 2021 hangover and it has impacted my mental and physical health and I am not the only one. In Toronto, Canada, lockdowns and going in and out of them, it has taken away the ability to spend time with our loved ones outdoors and in some cases COVID has also taken away our ability to spend time with some of our loved ones indoors.
For over 2 years in Toronto, the pandemic has impacted how we are able to take care of our physical and mental health by the restrictions of being able to go to gyms, it has closed businesses and impacted people’s employment who are taking care of their families. We have seen how our mental health have been impacted by restrictions on our families not being able to travel, limiting how our families are able to spend time together over the holidays, prohibits our children from taking part in organized sports activity in their schools for the past 2.5 years, all of these things have taken a toll on our well-being.
The pandemic has caused tension within families, turning those family members who are for vaccinated against those family members who are not vaccinated, this is further complicated for Black families who are also navigating anti-Black racism outside in the world.
For families who are going through separation or divorce, the pandemic has created more barriers for civility between parents. One of which is how the pandemic has been used as a way to limit some fathers or even some mothers’ access to their children based on the fact that he or she is not vaccinated.
These are a lot of things that Black Families are dealing with that are impacting our mental health. However, we also know that in a city like Toronto and in Canada there are limited resources for Black families to seek mental health supports that are accessible and culturally relatable, which research has shown as important for Black Canadians i.e. Perspectives on Health Well-Being in Black Communities in Toronto Experiences through COVID-19 and Shining a Light on Mental Health in Black Communities
“No one is coming to save us, so we need to learn how to save ourselves.”
This Black Daddies Club (BDC) post is not about your choice to be vaccinated or not being vaccinated. What this post is communicating is that BDC feels that this pandemic is a part of our current reality and there is a necessary need for us in the Black community to strategize of ways that we are able to support each other and ourselves during this time. “No one is coming to save us, so we need to learn how to save ourselves.” Was some advice a dear friend and fellow Black father told me a few weeks ago and this deeply resonated with me.
Black Daddies Club is focusing our 2022 programming efforts and collaborations on initiatives that are experiments that will look at supporting Black fathers and Black families mental health and over all well-being. We call them experiments because these are new initiatives that BDC will be doing and we do not know what the outcomes will be. We do know that there has been shift happening in the world since this pandemic began more than 2 years ago and there is a shift also is happening within this grassroots organization based in Toronto called the Black Daddies Club, we are also learning and unlearning as we do this work. As BDC goes into our 15th year doing community-based programming and community engagement/ community building with Black peoples in Toronto and globally, we know that we are growing throughout this process of this work and sometimes the process is what really matters.
Founder, The Black Daddies Club