Toronto Metropolitan University
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The Realities Of Schizophrenia For Black African Families Navigating Greater Toronto's Mental Health Services

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posted on 2021-09-17, 14:28 authored by Dorothy Alvina During
This is a qualitative phenomenological (Padgett, 2017) study of how Black African families with relatives diagnosed with schizophrenia navigate and experience mental health systems in the Greater Toronto Area. Data was collected through individual face-to-face interviews with 3 participants who are self-identified adult African family members or relatives of a person diagnosed with schizophrenia. The research draws on the theoretical approaches of Anti-Black Racism (Kumsa et al, 2014) and Anti-Black Sanism (Abdillahi, Meerai & Poole, 2014; Meerai, Abdillahi & Poole, 2016). Participants had an outlet to share their experiences, and a space to share ideas on program development and coping strategies. The findings of this study suggest that Black families need a space where Black and/or African individuals with mental health challenges can safely navigate and share their stories through storytelling, poetry and music, to name a few methods. There is a need for Black and/or African navigating resource services for Black and/or African immigrants diagnosed with mental health challenges and their families. We can conclude that there are a number of areas of research which require more exploration, including the social construction of Black and/or African immigrant families faced with mental health challenges pre- and post-diagnosis and how they navigate mental health systems. It is critical to promote the voices of Black and/or African individuals with mental health challenges and their families in research and practice because “you cannot know about us without us” (Morrow &Malcoe, 2017, p.132).





  • Master of Social Work


  • Social Work

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP