Written by: Sebastian Bron, The Hamilton Spectator
As a Black teen growing up in Hamilton, Rayanne Banaga heard all the stereotypes.
“There was times that teachers would assume I was living in poverty or that I came from a bad family, just because I was Black,” she says. “So often I was being treating in ways that I was someone who needed extra care, extra support, but not in the way I was asking for.”
It was patronizing. But mental health looks different for a lot of Black youth, Banaga says, and it’s difficult to connect feelings of anxiety and depression with racialization when there’s no one there to help you make that connection.