Racial and Social Justice Center

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Racial Disparity and Mental Health: The foundations of psychiatric care in the United States are steeped in racism.

Yes, it’s true.

Consider this: the American Psychiatric Association (a prevailing governing body in Mental Health Care) was created in 1844.

That’s 20 years before the Emancipation Proclamation or the first Juneteenth. Yes, that means slavery was very much alive while Mental Healthcare was being formalized in the U.S.

That rendered Mental Healthcare virtually inaccessible to Black and Indigenous patients. Misguided ideas about biology and dangerous stereotypes kept them out for another 60 years.

Today, the legacy of racial inequity in Mental Healthcare persists.

In order to change that we must educate ourselves on the adverse conditions that contributed to and are sustained by racial bias in Mental Healthcare.

This section is for allies to educate themselves with resources, articles and videos relating to racial disparity in the mental health field.

Featured: What is Mental Health Parity And Why Should You Care About It?

In this short-take we talk about the reasons behind Mental Health Parity Reform and what would happen if we didn’t have it. If you’re interested to read more, check out our full article: How Scientific Racism Still Lives on in the US Mental Healthcare System and in the article: 3 Ways to Make Mental Healthcare More Equitable

Articles by My Soul Balm

Resources for Allies

Racial Equity Tools.org

  1. Glossary of Racial Justice Terms
  2. Fundamental Concepts of Racial Equity
  3. Curricula on Racial Justice (All Levels)

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