Across Boundaries provides a holistic approach to mental healthcare that addresses the body-mind and spirit. People from racialized communities have been using many forms of traditional healing but they usually don’t have access to these under the health system in Ontario. Across Boundaries provides these services to clients registered in the program.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Through participation in this program, clients experience relief from pain, insomnia, other physical ailments and chronic conditions. The aim is to have participants experience an increase in energy levels and clients feel more relaxed. Counselling is focused on lifestyle, changes in diet, sleeping habits, relationships with family, friends and the community, providing a release from their mental symptoms and pain.
This is a weekly program where the art therapist applies multi-disciplinary approaches aimed at enabling the expression and exploration of feelings and problems that affect the participants. It is important that the therapist has an anti-racist perspective. For example: Because people from different cultures can use colour differently to show joy, happiness, the facilitator must be able to address and differentiate possible meaning applied to colours in a dominant culture.
Through participation in this program, the individual develops his/her creative skills to heal the body, mind and soul. Feelings and emotions are expressed in spoken and non-verbal expressions or movement - such us dance and theatre.
This program focuses on learning stress management skills and in improving concentration and mental alertness. When applied and practiced properly, yoga has been proven to alleviate physical and mental stress while also reinforcing will and strength.
This program encourages all individuals, regardless of age or musical background, to explore their basic capacity for musical expression and appreciation in the same way that highly accomplished musicians can. The program does not require special talents or extensive training. The benefits of this program are experienced from the learning that occurs during normal processes of human development.
Across Boundaries provides a safe, non-judgemental space where clients can access and practice their leadership skills by volunteering to facilitate the discussion. Participants share experiences, give feedback and provide support to each other. Support members exchange stories of coping whether it is related to issues of mental health or racialization. The true value of this group is in the sharing, discovery and understanding that there are ways to overcome adversity.
In this group, 8-12 men are led by a male therapist. The facilitator encourages discussion of barriers in the health care system and strategies to overcome them. Sexism and other individual and systemic issues that impact their mental health are discussed.
Women in the group share their experiences, gain support and learn effective coping skills from each other and strategize on how to overcome barriers in the health system.
Across Boundaries' skills building programs provide opportunity for participants to share and learn new skills in preparation for employment and in coping with day-to-day life issues. These programs are facilitated by Across Boundaries participants who have anexpertise in this field.
A dominant theme expressed by those that access our services is preparation for employment and access to information. Across Boundaries supports computer literacy in order to help with this.We provide basic but useful computer training to help individuals connect and find work by means of accessing information and resources online
Literacy and ESL
Some clients experiencing severe mental health problems are unable to cope with the demands of a regular ESL class. This program provides them the opportunity to learn English as well as improve their reading and writing in a safe and comfortable environment. The class is taught by a very experienced teacher who is also a consumer/ survivor.
Participants learn practical skills for managing five areas of life: self, family, leisure, community and job.
Food is an important part of exchanging our culture with others. It can signify celebration as well as daily needs. Through this highly-engaging Across Boundaries program, clients develop life skills for independent living, meal planning, cooking cleaning, budgeting, and grocery shopping.
Shovel and Spoon Program
This is a 6-month program in partnership with The Stop. It is intended to foster a therapeutic and empowering environment where culturally inclusive food skills are used as a way to reduce isolation, build community and develop leadership.
This program helps clients keep up to date with the local, national and global news and they learn to read the news with a “critical eye”.
Leadership & Advocacy Training
This is a 6-week program aims to develop a better understanding of how to share experiences around mental health, racialization and discrimination along with their journey of recovery to empower others. Past modules have included:
- AR/AO and Mental Health Recovery
- Mental Health Act - What are your rights when you are not well?
- Effective Communication/Advocacy Skills
- Mental Health Resources
Social isolation is but one common issue for people experiencing serious mental illness. The Drop-In Program provides an opportunity for people to socialize, organize special events, playtable tennis, cards, chess and other forms of recreation in a safe environment that encourages healthy interactions.
This program is an opportunity for clients and staff to meet together and discuss policies, new information, concerns and collectively problem-solve issues pertaining to the center and its various programs.
Across Boundaries identifies family support as a priority. We recognize that families make up the network and fabric of the communities we serve, and do require access and support themselves in order to offer positive guidance and support to their own loved ones.
Community development is an area that Across Boundaries is fully committed to as it is imperative to have active participation of the communities served in developing appropriate programs and services. Mental health education is needed and is a good way to engage members of the community and find creative ways to promote mental health.
This program is offered every Friday at the Storefront in Scarborough for Tamil speaking individuals who are experiencing severe mental health problems and /or addiction. This program is provided in partnership with CRCT (Community Resources Connections of Toronto) and Storefront.
Psychiatric Consultation Program
Across Boundaries accesses the services of psychiatrists who regularly offer consultation and conduct educational sessions with staff and clients to address the clinical needs of the clients in a culturally appropriate manner.