BIPOC Student Support

To promote and be effective in addressing mental health for all, Mental Health & Wellbeing at Nipissing University uses a racial equity and intersectional lens to highlight, better understand, and effectively respond to the range of unique experiences held by students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (BIPOC) in addition to backgrounds that vary by race, ethnicity, religion, and language. 

Mental Health & Wellbeing acknowledges the racial disparities in mental health care. Research suggests that Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) compared to people who are white are: 

  • Less likely to have access to mental health services
  • Less likely to seek out services
  • Less likely to receive needed care
  • More likely to receive poor quality of care
  • More likely to end services prematurely

Some of these barriers can be attributed to a variety of factors such as cultural stigma around mental illness, racism and discrimination, language barriers, a lack of health insurance, mistrust of mental health care providers, a lack of cultural competency on the part of mental health care providers, and a Eurocentric-Western worldview of psychology, mental health, and therapeutic modalities.

BIPOC Student Support at Mental Health & Wellbeing provides the following services for BIPOC Students at Nipissing University:

  • Mental Health & Wellbeing staff provide culturally sensitive counselling and psychotherapy
  • BIPOC Individual Counselling: Choose to speak to a Racialized Counsellor
  • BIPOC Mental Health Practitioners within the Community (Ontario)
  • Ongoing collaboration with Racialized Student Groups and International Students to promote BIPOC mental wellbeing through mental health awareness initiatives, psychoeducation, advocacy and more
  • Mental Health and Anti-Racism Resources for BIPOC Students

BIPOC Individual Counselling

Sometimes seeking support from a mental health therapist and counsellor can be difficult for a myriad of reasons including (but not limited to): the barriers between one’s culture and the therapist, fear of being misunderstood and invalidated, the burden of having to explain one’s culture and worldview and feeling like your therapist won’t understand you because of your colour, race, religion, or culture and the unique experiences of these identities like racial trauma and experiences of discrimination.

Mental Health & Wellbeing acknowledges these challenges faced by students who identify as black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) with backgrounds that vary by race, religion, language, and ethnicity.

Accordingly, students have the option of choosing a racialized counsellor for individual counselling during their Registration with Mental Health & Wellbeing by checking BIPOC Student Support.

BIPOC Student support is committed to culturally sensitive forms of psychotherapy while acknowledging the different experiences of BIPOC students regarding their mental health challenges and wellbeing.