COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative: Research

COVID-19 Pandemic Guidelines for Mental Health Support of Racialized Women at Risk of Gender-based Violence

Key Messages

  • Pandemic responses must consider gendered roles and dynamics, and adopt gender-sensitive programming
  • Safety principles to guide responses – data collection, service provision
  • Need to gather disaggregated data – sex, race, age. GBV data collection to ensure women and girls’ safety
  • Increase dedicated funding for specialized services
  • Ensure that services remain open, accessible, and inclusive
  • Expand access points to mental health supports
  • Apply survivor-centred principles and trauma-centred supports
  • Prevent racism and discriminatory practices in service provision
  • Build capacity, increase awareness and training for frontline workers
  • Expand shelter capacity. Strengthen helplines, online counselling and technology-based solutions. Ensure online supports 24/7. Update referral pathways


  • COVID-19
  • Mental health
  • Women
  • Girls
  • Racialized
  • Gender
  • Gender-based violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Pandemic


  • Nominated Principal Applicant: Nazilla Khanlou, York University
  • Andrew Ssawe (South Riverdale Community Health Centre)
  • Yvonne Bohr (York University),
  • Jennifer Connolly (York University),
  • Iris Epstein (York University),
  • Thumeka Mgwigwi (York University),
  • Soheila Pashang (Humber College),
  • Farah Ahmad (York University)
  • Negar Alamdar (York University)
  • Sajedeh Zahraei (Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants)

For more information, please contact: Nazilla Khanlou,

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Vulnerable or At-Risk Populations


To ensure the rapid dissemination of this critical information, information is published in the language in which it was submitted. Please contact us for French or English translations.

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