Across Boundaries has been providing addictions and mental health supports and services to racialized communities in the Greater Toronto Area since 1995.
It was found that Canadian residents who have a history of migration or who are members of a racialized community face stressors that exacerbate mental health, yet also under-use mental health services.
Studies have suggested that language problems, differing social-cultural concepts of health and illness, and biases among health care providers may contribute to lower health service access, including for mental health care. It is in this context that Across Boundaries was formed
Prior to the opening of the centre, Across Boundaries was a group of dedicated individuals that created the Ethnoracial Coalition that conducted research to look at mental health needs of people from communities of colour.
The end product was a book entitled, “The Healing Journey”. It explored the experiences of survivors in the mental health system and how racism and cultural differences affected their access to care.
This three-phase research consisted of a literature review of race and culture in phase one, an examination of women of colour in phase two, and an examination of the experiences of men of colour in phase three in addressing their mental health needs.
As members of the Ethnoracial Coalition: Access to Addiction Services, Across Boundaries participated in doing a research on “Addiction Trends in The Afghan, Pakistani and Russian Communities”. Across Boundaries also co-sponsored a forum organized by this coalition on “Issues in Ethnoracial Communities: Benefits & Challenges of Community-based Research”.