We are devastated by news of the horrific attack against a Muslim family in London, Ontario earlier this week. Our thoughts are with the family and the surviving victim, a nine-year-old boy who is currently recovering in hospital. To mark this tragic event, the University of Toronto will be flying its flags at half-mast across the three campuses on Wednesday, June 9.
While it is difficult to find words at this time, we want to express our solidarity with the Muslim community at U of T, across Canada, and around the world, but also to identify this event for what it is: an act of hate and Islamophobia. The University of Toronto strongly condemns all forms of faith-based discrimination and racism.
We know this is a painful and traumatic time for many in the U of T community as well. Our Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office is available to provide support to students, staff, faculty, librarians, and community members. ARCDO will host a series of community healing spaces in June as community members continue to be impacted by the ongoing pandemic of race-based and faith-based hate and discrimination in all its forms. These sessions include specific spaces for the University’s diverse Muslim communities.
If you need immediate support, please call the Health & Wellness Centre at 416-978-8030 to speak to a counsellor. Counselling is also available through the U of T My Student Support Program (U of T My SSP) 24/7 by calling 1-844-451-9700. Muslim students, staff, and faculty can access the counselling services of our Muslim Chaplaincy.
Staff and faculty members can access mental health resources and supports through the Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP). The 24/7 helpline at 1-800-663-1142 provides support for those experiencing grief, stress, and trauma.
Beyond U of T, the following mental health resources are also available for members of the Muslim community:
- Khalil Center – a psychological and spiritual community wellness centre advancing the professional practice of psychology rooted in Islamic principles. An initiative designed to address the widespread prevalence of social, psychological, familial, relational, and spiritual issues of Muslim communities.
- Naseeha Mental Health Hotline – a confidential resource providing web and phone therapy sessions as well as mental health support via text messaging to Muslim youth across North America, 7 days a week.
- Yusra Mental Health (YMH) – a non-profit initiative with the goal of making mental health events and services more accessible to the Muslim community at large. YMH collaborates with Muslim associations at other universities and campuses in addition to local mosques. It also provides free mental health events and workshops.