Self-love is a common term these days. But, what does it truly mean and is it really accessible to everyone? Second-generation Canadians share how they are learning to love themselves: the words they say, the habits they build, and the immigrants they draw inspiration from.
In this episode of “Born And Raised: Love,” hosts Alisha Sawhney and Al Donato struggle with whether they really love themselves. Josephine grapples with the idea that “Africans don’t get depressed.” Without having roots in culture or place, Kamini copes by drinking— until they’re forced to reckon with their addiction.
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Meet the guests:
Kim Vo has chosen to stay single. It’s a decision rooted in self-love, a term that she’s had trouble finding a translation for in Vietnamese.
Whenever Josephine Mwanvua shared her troubles with her father, he would tell her the same phrase: “Africans don’t get depressed.” It was only after experiencing an extremely difficult period of depression that Josephine realized she needed to interpret what her Congolese father was trying to convey about their life in Canada.
Kamini Murthy-Korteweg has felt anxiety over connecting to Indian culture their whole life. With their family always relocating, survival took precedence over passing down tradition. For Kamini, being someone without a real idea of identity contributed to their addiction to alcohol. It’s through substance-use recovery that Kamini has found peace in creating and learning their own self-narrative, as well as their family’s.
For second-generation Canadians of colour, therapy might require cultural competency. Here’s how to make sure those needs are met when talking to a therapist.
When professional help isn’t an option, online communities can be some of the best places for people of colour to seek mental wellness.
For those looking for substance recovery peer support, Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) provides a skills toolbox to many addiction support groups across North America.
Are you in a crisis? If you need help, contact Crisis Services Canada at their website or by calling 1-833-456-4566. If you know someone who may be having thoughts of suicide, read this guide from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to learn how to talk about suicide with the person you’re worried about.
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