It is widely understood that discrimination of all forms can impact on the mental health of the person experiencing it. One form of discrimination is that of racial discrimination. There are established links between experiencing racism and increased anxiety, stress, depression and other physical and mental health issues. The person experiencing the racism may develop a feeling of not belonging, not being valued or as if they have little worth. First and foremost it is crucial that we more explicitly acknowledge that those experiencing racism are not at all responsible for the racism they are subjected to and how unreasonable it is that they are laden with having to process these discriminatory and oppressive experiences. It is important to emphasise that racism can occur in a variety of ways, including in the form of less obvious racial microaggressions. Racial microaggressions can be everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults. Microaggressions may be intentional or unintentional, communicating hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to individuals based solely upon their race. While the micro-aggressor may not even realise they can caused harm, for the victim, these events can have a dramatic affect on mental health. If you or anyone you love has been impacted by racial aggression, please speak to someone about it. You are not alone and there are lots of resources to support you.
The Impact of Racism on Mental Health