Across Boundaries acknowledges the importance of community-based research as it applies to generating knowledge of and from the community, in order to create positive change.
Community based research is an integral part of Across Boundaries’ anti-racism framework, and plays an important role in the development of appropriate service.
Prior to the opening of the centre, Across Boundaries in partnership with York University’s department of Social Work conducted a small research which involved 52 agencies to look at mental health needs of people from communities of colour.
We have also been successful in producing a book entitled, "The Healing Journey", a three-year research that 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".
In 2006, Across Boundaries produced a report from a study on “Mental Well-being and Substance Use Among Youth of Colour”. The purpose of the study was to provide current information about emotional and mental health conditions among youth of colour living in Y-Connect’s service area, a large area in north-west Toronto. The findings were based on a questionnaire disseminated to 300 local youth, over 20 focus groups held with gender-specific and ethno-specific groups of youth and (a series of several) VS. 16 discussions with youth workers and mental health care providers.
Clarifying an Anti-Racism, Holistic Service Delivery Model in a Toronto Mental Health Agency was another research we completed in January 2007 with the funding support of the CAMH Community Research Capacity Enhancement Program. The project’s goal was to coherently describe the elements as well as generate a common language to discuss and define the agency’s model of service delivery.
Very recently, Across Boundaries did a Needs Assessment of the marginalized and racialized communities in Toronto. The findings in the report Advancing Anti-Racism in Mental Health Services led us to do further research in addressing the mental health needs of victims of trauma, people suffering from Concurrent Disorders and the mental health needs of seniors from racialized communities.
Across Boundaries is committed to ensuring involvement in further research, especially in looking at the recommendations coming out of the Healing Journey book, as well as to develop best/better practices and criteria for standards of care for the mental health sector.
The At Home project was funded and coordinated by the Mental Health Commission of Canada from 2009 to 2013 until it was funded as a permanent program through the Ontario Provincial Government and is now receiving permanent funding through the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC). Additional research information can be downloaded here.
To learn more about the At Home initiative, please watch this short video produced by the NFB.