​​Mental Health Terms

is continuing to use a substance (for example: alcohol or cocaine) for nonmedical purposes despite wanting or trying to stop using it​
is a type of body signal, or group of sensations that are generally unpleasant, typically characterized by the experience of a variety of physical sensations that are linked with thoughts that make one feel apprehensive or fearful​

Black Mental Health: refers to the emotional, psychological, and social well-being in relation to members of the Black and African diaspora
Black Mental Health Support: mental health support (therapy, case management, advocacy, etc.) for members of the Black and African diaspora provided through a trauma-informed, identity and ethnic-specific lens with the goal of increasing access to healing, wellness, and liberation in the Black community

a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest, which stops you from doing normal everyday activities​
conditions related to persistent eating behaviours that negatively impact your health, emotions, and ability to function in important areas of life
any situation where a person’s actions, feelings, and behaviours can lead them to hurting themselves or others, and/or put them at risk of being unable to care for themselves or function in the community in a healthy manner​
a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally and may experience a combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behaviours that impair daily function and can be disabling ​
an unhealthy pattern of drug, alcohol, or other chemical use that may lead relationship, education, work, mental, and/or physical problems ​

also called psychotherapy or counseling, is the process of meeting with a therapist to resolve emotional issues and mental health issues that arise. (Reference:

any painful or damaging injury or event that harms a person’s mental health​

All about Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Everyone has mental health, just as everyone has physical health. Just as we monitor our physical health for any issues and illness that arise, it is crucial that we take care of our mental health. ​ ​

According to the CMHA, * mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend, or colleague; if not through themselves. 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health problem or illness in any given year, here in Canada. It is a lot more common than we think. This is especially the case in communities that are marginalized and lack appropriate services, such as the Black community. ​ ​

Mental health problems can alter your thinking, mood, and/or behavior. ​

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry​
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse​
  • Family history of mental health problems​

Healthy emotional and social development in our early years lay the foundation for mental health and resilience throughout our lives.

Seeking appropriate help is one of the keys to living better lives. Wanasah is here to help with that.


Spirituality holds many definitions as it is often understood and experienced differently. Wanasah’s definition of spirituality, therefore, is flexible depending on the client we are serving and how they experience and relate to spirituality. defines spirituality as, “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.” ​

Some people understand spirituality to mean the connection of self and identity through meaning and purpose. Others are unable to separate spirituality from faith or religion and define spirituality as a religious connection or connection to a higher being. ​

Whatever your definition of spirituality is, Wanasah’s staff receive training from trained Spiritual Care Providers in order to support this important aspect of each individual when receiving mental health and addictions support. ​ Share with your counsellor how you define spirituality. ​

Wanasah’s Services

Just as the symptoms of a flu are different from that of a concussion, each mental illness has its own set of symptoms.

However, the following symptoms can be signs of mental health problems:​ ​

  • Long-lasting sadness or irritability.​
  • Extremely high and low moods​
  • Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety​
  • Social withdrawal​
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits.
Feeling sad or alone? Need someone to talk to? We got you. Access FREE therapy/ counselling from our trained healthcare professionals.
Our trained clinical team prioritizes dignity-affirming, Black-centric mental health and addictions services for Black youth and their families such as support groups, 1-on-1 therapy, mental health case management, grief counselling, mental health education and support, service ​ navigation and referrals, and crisis response.

In Crisis Resources

*If you are in crisis, please seek help immediately.*

Calling 911 is not always safe for Black families, however if you or your loved one needs immediate crisis support and you choose to contact 911, let them know that your child/youth is experiencing a mental health crisis.  

The following are also options for immediate crisis support: