Our organization is committed to fighting racist societal structures within the social determinants of health that limit the ability for Black communities and immigrant, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized populations to thrive in all areas of wellbeing, so that all people and places can thrive.
More recently, this work includes working with the Regional Health Council to address mental health in the community and a specific mental health anti-stigma campaign, which we expect to fully launch in August. Illustrating the connection between racism and mental health, Daniel H. Gillison Jr, CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), recently stated, “The effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real and cannot be ignored. The disparity in access to mental health care in communities of color cannot be ignored. The inequality and lack of cultural competency in mental health treatment cannot be ignored. While there is much we need to do to address racism in our country, we must not forget the importance of mental health as we do so. Racism is a public health crisis.”
This week we’ve curated some related resources for you to use as you continue to shape workplace culture and community work to directly address our social responsibility to fight racism in all forms. You can find additional mental health resources on our resource portal.
In our weekly emails we will now provide a resource and discussion prompts for you to use at work or in the community to talk openly about racism, diversity, and health equity.
HelpGuide states, “Traumatic stress can shatter your sense of security, leaving you feeling helpless and vulnerable in a dangerous world – especially if the traumatic event was manmade, such as a shooting or act of terrorism. You may feel physically and emotionally drained, overcome with grief, or find it difficult to focus, sleep, or control your tempter. These are all normal responses to abnormal events.” Mental health experts were already acknowledging that our national community was experiencing collective trauma in the face of COVID-19, even before our collective outrage at the tragic killings of so many in the Black community this past month alone. Many minority communities already feel traumatic stress through racist and marginalizing societal structures and actions leveled against them. Here are some additional resources to help address potential trauma within your workplaces and communities, in addition to resources for supporting overall mental wellbeing:
We are continuously accepting stories about mental health and mental illness anonymously through our website. Please consider sharing this link within your organizations to help normalize the conversation around mental health.