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Effect of Racism on Mental Health

Racism is the act of treating persons unfairly because of their race, color, nationality, or ethnic or national origin. It can have detrimental consequences across the lifespan of anyone who is directly affected by it. Racism affects the physical and mental well-being of many persons of color. Unfortunately, racism is pervasive and can manifest in various forms including personal, cultural, structural, and institutional ways. It can cause pain, harm, and humiliation and often leads to despair and exclusion among members of the target group.

Experiences of racism can negatively impact the mental health of individuals which can lead to disorders related to stress, anxiety, and depression. Encountering frequent experiences of racial discrimination can create a sense of worthlessness for persons of color. Furthermore, these feelings can morph into poor self-esteem, sadness, fear, and shame.


An effective strategy for responding to experiences of racism, and its negative effect on anxiety and other mental health disorders, is to learn to appreciate your self-worth and make choices which are consistent with your values, even in the face of discrimination.

Sincerely yours, Barbara BEEKS navigating this world where racism is so pervasive, we must learn to find healthy ways to cope with our emotions so we can establish programs and policies to significantly decrease and hopefully eliminate racial disparities that exist in the world.

Sincerely yours,Barbara BEEKS Director, Advisory & Safeguarding Manager bbeeks@boswaalliance.com www.BoswaAlliance.com

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