Mental Health Advocates Are Educating Providers About Racism



Racism is one of those things that has reared its ugly head many times over the years, especially in the field of psychology. Racist “experts” created the “disorder” known as protest psychosis as a way of stifling people of color who would dare complain or exhibit any emotional or psychological response because of the racism they endured. Any time a person of color would exhibit racism-related rage, someone would attribute it to this mental condition that they had, which most likely made them feel invalidated and victimized even more by racism. Sadly, this type of racism still exists in the field of psychology today.

People of color have to deal with a double-edged sword when it comes to mental health. Many of them are so severely traumatized by acts of racism that they develop conditions that are similar to what psychologists call depression, anxiety, PTSD and so on. Such people then receive negative labels from mental health providers and have to experience stigma and further persecution. In some cases, people of color receive unwarranted mental health diagnoses and labels. Black men, for example, are far more likely than white men are to receive a false schizophrenia diagnosis.

Fortunately, mental health activists are now starting to fight for these victims. They are starting campaigns to confront racism head-on. Part of their campaign is providing the appropriate education to healthcare providers so that they understand racism and all of the adverse effects it can have on people. Hopefully, the education can help practitioners serve victims of racism and make things easier for them.

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