Photo by Mental Health America (MHA)
Experiencing discrimination, ridicule, or shame for one’s ethnicity, race, or skin color is a very degrading experience.
Due to how much racism is present in the world, mental health and racism have somewhat of a bad connection between them, and many people have their mental health plummeting to the lowest of low.
King Bell, the author of American’t: The Corporate Plantation, discusses this topic in his book in great detail. The Corporate Plantation on Bell’s book describes being a Black American in a country where racism runs rampant. It’s a great book to read and understand the perspectives of Black and African Americans residing in the nation.
But racism isn’t just limited to America. Racism can occur in any part of the world, and it can take place in any location. Whether it’s at work, at household, school, on the World Wide Web, or even within one’s relationships and family — racism can exist even in the safest of places.
Racism can also come in many forms (verbal abuse, bullying, stereotypes we see in films or literature), which many of us are oblivious about. There are even times when racism is ingrained in the systems and structures that we reside in, which makes life even harder for those in the minority.
Even though this is the reality we live in, we don’t honestly know its effects on a person’s mental health. So today, we’ll be taking the time to understand the impact of racism on a person’s mental health and look at some tips that can help individuals take care of their mental health despite racism.
Understanding the Impact of Racism on People’s Mental Health
People will be affected differently by racism, whether they’re experiencing discrimination, bullying, or being ostracized for their ethnicity, race, or skin color. However, some of their negative feelings will always be fear or anxiety. Some could become overly conscious about what they’re doing or how they act.
Things that those who are being subjected to racism might avoid doing could include:
• using their birth name when applying for a job
• covering up parts of their identity
• being anxious about interactions with the police
• having an accent or speaking in their native tongue in public
• engaging in or sharing their opinions regarding topical discourses
It’s precisely what The Corporate Plantation on Bell’s book describes, as it explains how racism is an ageless issue. But what’s important is how an individual feels and sees their situation. With that in mind, it’s time to look at some tips that can aid anybody in living their life to the fullest despite being subjected to racism.
Helpful Tips to Make One’s Mental Health and Racism Manageable
Finding yourself on the short end of the proverbial stick that is racism is not fun and will never be. But despite how horrific of an ordeal it can be, there are ways that people can take care of their mental health and manage the effects of racism. Here are some tips we’ve prepared:
• Find out what your rights are and how you can report acts of abuse or racism. It might be a bit of a hassle initially, but knowing your rights and how to let the proper authorities know about hateful and racist acts is beneficial in the long run. Not only are you ensuring your safety, but you will also feel empowered to stand up for yourself. You’ll also be reminded that racism is wrong and no one should be okay with it or believe it’s normal.
• Don’t pressure yourself to bear the responsibility of fixing racism. Racism is something that no one can solve by themselves. Everyone is responsible for changing their behavior for the better and upholding everyone’s rights, especially those in the minority.
• Purge your social media. Block and report racist content if you stumble upon them. You can also take a break from social media, as studies have shown that these platforms negatively affect people.
• Talk to someone you can trust. It’s important to talk to someone you can trust about your struggles and feelings about racism. The goal here is to get support and someone who will listen to you. Organizations like The Black, African, and Asian Therapy Network can significantly aid those whose mental health is negatively affected by racism.
Mental health and racism can be complex topics to tackle, but it is a discussion everyone needs. If we want to make our planet a better and safer place, we need to talk about racism and how we can put it to rest.
American’t: The Corporate Plantation on Bell’s book is a great place to start, so be sure to get your copy today by clicking here!