Race and Mental Health: We Hear You

Foundation 2 Crisis Services exists to serve the community through our mission – To be a trusted support when life gets tough. All people. Any time. Every time. We work intentionally to remove barriers for our entire community so individuals and families can achieve the quality of life they deserve.

Unfortunately, systemic racism is one of the most significant barriers to quality of life for many of our beloved community members – stripping them of dignity, respect, opportunity, peace and safety.  It is an undeniable fact that there are a disproportionate number of school suspensions, expulsions, arrests and imprisonment for African Americans.  We have heard from many voices that planning a simple trip to the store, taking a walk, going for a run, enjoying time at the park, going on vacation, renting an apartment – simply existing anytime, or anywhere – could result in trauma fueled by racism.  The stark reality is that systemic racism causes trauma for individuals in our community on a daily basis.

The racial disparities also continue in mental health, including disproportionate rates of mental illness and access to care for Black Americans. According to Mental Health America,

  • Black adults are 20% more likely to report serious psychological distress than white adults.
  • Black teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than white teenagers (8.3% versus 6.2%).
  • Black adults with a major depressive episode are also less likely to receive treatment than white adults.
  • Higher levels of Black Americans are uninsured compared to white Americans (15.9% versus 11.1%), which can further reduce or slow access to quality health care.

As an organization that is dedicated to working with our community through a trauma-informed lens, we must commit to listening, learning and taking action against systemic racism.  We must collectively “dig in” and do the hard work to understand our own personal biases, and most importantly, take action to fight against the injustice that negatively impacts the daily lives of our clients, staff, community, and nation.

In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to create opportunities for conversations, workshops, trainings, action items and other opportunities to fulfill this call to action within our organization. We also encourage you to follow us on social media to learn about additional resources and opportunities, and seek out reputable resources online to continue to learn and be part of the solution.

We want you to know that we see this. We see you. We hear you. We will listen to you. We will learn from you. Together, we can be a trusted support when life gets tough.

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