Support for India
As we watch the heartbreaking impact of COVID-19 in India, I want to express my deepest sympathy and support for our colleagues, learners and staff among the South Asian diaspora across the Temerty Faculty of Medicine.
Extended families are strong across the miles and many of you are working hard not only to care for patients in our South Asian community being disproportionately affected here in the GTA but also to support family and friends in India facing an unprecedented crisis. Our hearts go out to everyone who is struggling to cope with the impact of this crushing wave of the pandemic at home and abroad.
I encourage leaders and individuals across the Faculty to reach out to colleagues and trainees who identify as members of the Indian community to express support and offer to assist where they are able.
It is not only difficult and painful to bear witness to human suffering on such an enormous scale but also to see – and worse to experience – the racist backlash that has arisen alongside it. At the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, we stand with you against any type of racial violence, and we are here to support you as best we can through the Faculty’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID), including our allyship resources, and the University’s Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO).
OID is also exploring a plan to offer an online space for reflection and healing for members of the Indian community and allies. We will be in touch with details as plans come together.
We urge our colleagues to step up and learn how you can support anti-racism advocacy and allyship. Department Chairs can put you in touch with your Department’s EDI lead. And to our racialized learners, staff and faculty, you are not alone and should never feel silenced. We will support you, help you navigate specific resources and help create the Faculty-wide accountability needed for respectful, inclusive learning environments and workspaces where we all belong.
Wellness services available include:
- The Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s family EAP; the Postgraduate Wellness Office; the Office of Health Professions and Student Affairs; and GLSE counsellors.
- Therapists from the South Asian community can be found at: southasiantherapists.org
- Other resources specifically aimed at supporting learners, faculty and staff of the South Asian Community include:
- For University of Toronto learners: Indian Students Association (ISA)
- For Indian-identified staff: ‘Connections and Conversations’ group for racialized staff
- Council of Agencies Serving South Asians
- South Asian Canadians Health and Social Services (SACHSS)
- COVID-19 Helpline for South Asians in the GTA