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A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.

Mental Health

In Momentum. More on Medium.

A Black woman therapist — and anti-racist community advocate — acknowledges the sheer will and tenacity in the women she sees.

“The human toll of these stressors is immeasurable. Our minds, bodies, souls, success, wealth, and health rise and fall depending upon how other people treat us. We are not in control even though we try to be. Yet we cope. On one hand, one of the strengths of being a Black woman is that it allows me — allows us — to be seen as the cornerstone of the family, community, and society. On the other hand, this type of stress and expectation inevitably causes chronic exhaustion and the onset of physical and mental illnesses.” — Shanya Gray

Read Gray’s…

Historically, the people who are most oppressed are also the most likely to be branded ‘lazy’

“The Rewarding of Work and the Punishment of Laziness,” an engraving by Robert Boissard. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The hatred of laziness is deeply embedded in the history of the United States. The value of hard work and the evils of sloth are baked into our national myths and our shared value system. Thanks to the legacies of imperialism and slavery, as well as the ongoing influence that the United States exerts on the rest of the world both in media and in military force, the Laziness Lie has managed to spread its tendrils into almost every country and culture on the planet.

The word “lazy” first appeared in English around 1540; even back then, it was used…

Understanding sympathetic dominance

“Messages permeating modern society make us well aware of the adverse effects of racism on mental health, but what if I said it didn’t stop there? What if I said…

Their experience only highlights how much harder it is for Black people to find mental health help

“Let’s be clear, I am open-minded about therapy. But my mother’s words resonated more than ever when I started marital counseling. I knew going in that our situation was “complicated.” We are a biracial couple, we live in the South, my husband is divorced, and there is an age difference. My husband suggested going to couples therapy from the onset of our marriage to keep our marriage solid. But the construct of who we were, in whole or in parts, consistently conjured up emotional ghosts and biases in the therapists who treated us. I quickly learned that it’s difficult for…

The pandemic and protests are hurting mental health like never before. And Black students feel the brunt of it.

Photo: GoodLifeStudio/Getty Images

As the dual forces of the Covid-19 pandemic and racial justice protests persist, another stressor is being added to the lives of young people across the country: school reopening. A June 2020 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that anxiety symptoms were three times as prevalent as those reported in late 2019 and depression was four times higher for the same period. According to reporting from the New York Times based on the survey, the mental health effects of the coronavirus pandemic have been felt most keenly by young adults ages 18 to 24.


Take it down a notch and allow yourself mental rest

For those of us who are actively dealing with racism, microaggressions, or working on better allyship, it can be hard to sit down and power up. But rest is a must. To that end, not just rest but mental rest is necessary too. Many experts suggest meditation and prayer as a way to reset after a tough week, or day, or month, or years of racism battle fatigue. But if you can’t quite force the mind to settle down perhaps a puzzle might help.

Old school? Yes. But forcing yourself to think about the puzzle instead of doomscrolling on Twitter…

Contrary to what you learned, you don’t have to suffer in silence

“When is it all right for Black men not to be all right? The answer appeared to be never. I grew up in a gendered world that rendered me defenseless…

Suppressing the anger and pain can actively damage what psychology researchers call ‘psychological fortitude’

“It’s not just me: Psychologists have found that talking or writing about racism can improve Black people’s mental health in various ways. Rheeda Walker, Ph.D., author of The Unapologetic Guide…

Starting in February 2021, New York City will send teams of trained mental health and emergency medical professionals, rather than police, to respond to 911 calls involving a mental health crisis.

The new initiative, announced Tuesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio, will be trialed in two undisclosed neighborhoods, and is an attempt to deescalate the potential for police violence.

The idea of sending professionals actually trained to deal with mental health, rather than police with the capability to respond with lethal force, is rooted in police abolition. …

Racism is a public health crisis. These organizations are here to help.

“There are numerous connections between racism and negative health outcomes for Black people. Specifically, research has shown a connection between incidents of police violence and adverse mental health among Black…

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