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Mental Health problems amongst Black people

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As mental health becomes a more talked about topic, it’s important that we also recognise and talk about Black mental health, especially with all the current public discussions surrounding systematic racism. Historical dehumanization, oppression and violence against Black people has now evolved into present day racism and has led to an increase in mental health problems. Statistics show that black people are more likely than white people to be diagnosed with mental health problems. Black and minority (ethnic) communities also continue to experience inequalities within the UK mental health system, despite government policy initiatives. With everything 2020 has thrown at us, now, more than ever it’s important to support those who suffer with mental health problems.  

Over the past few months, thousands of people across the world have taken part in now historic movements in aid of the Black Lives Matter movement. After the death of George Floyd in Minniapolis, protestors have been taking part in mass protests demanding an end to police brutality and racism against black people. 2020 has been the year that has sparked much needed discussions on the end of systematic racism. The issue remains, that even after the end to segregation and slavery, some black people today are still subject to some forms of racism, whether it be verbal, physical or mental.  

This mistreatment can cause serious mental health problems for those who experience it, including depression, stress, anxiety and psychosis. We understand that we can’t end racism overnight, but when things start to get too much, there are a few small things that you can do to look after your mental health.  

  • Take time off social media – everyone has an opinion in today’s society and they’re not afraid to let everyone know. If you need to, take a social media detox – we all need a break sometimes and your mental health is important.  

  • Self-care – Take time out for you! Make sure that you are giving yourself time each day for yourself like reading a book, watching TV, exercising, anything at all that you enjoy. Making time for yourself is so important, even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. 

  • Practice Self-love – It's important to recognise your own strengths and skills instead of focusing on your weaknesses. Appreciate who you are, there is only one of you on this planet, so love yourself and focus on living your life.  

  • Seek help/advice- There are so many organisations across the UK that provide support with black people’s mental health. If you’re ever struggling with your mental health and you don’t want to speak to family members or friends, there are always organisations you can talk to and our student services team. 

  • Check in on your friends – Check up on your friends, housemates and other members of your herds who you think are struggling.  

If you know someone that is struggling with the impact of racism, racial bias or microaggressions, there are ways you do your part to help. Be an Ally for someone. Listen to them when they want to talk, show them that you care and be there when they feel alone. We will be uploading Toluwa’s seminar on Allyship next week for those of you who missed it. We’ve also researched and put together a list of organisations that might be able to help you when you’re feeling isolated. 

  • Black Minds Matter UK – Their mission is to connect black individuals and families with professional mental health services across the UK; https://www.blackmindsmatteruk.com/ 

  • Black Thrive – A partnership between communities that works together to reduce inequality and injustices experienced by black people in the mental health sector -https://www.blackthrive.org.uk/about-us/ 

  • Sandwell African and Caribbean Mental Health Foundation – An organisation that helps to improve mental health outcomes for African Caribbean people and the wider community- https://www.sacmhf.co.uk/  

  • Rainbow Noir – A volunteer led peer support and community group who celebrate people of colour who identify as Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans - https://rainbownoirmcr.com/  

Don’t forget, for those students on campus, Student Services are always on hand to listen and give you support when and if you need it.  

 

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