As we close out January and enter February and Black History month, we are reminded that, although we hold it to be self-evident that all are, “created equal,” in this country, the reality is we are not all treated equal. Individual’s experiences vary drastically depending on the color of their skin, who they love or, as it relates to our work, if they live with the stigma of mental illness. With the history of slavery and racism being present since this country’s founding, we look to it to better understand how we can further our mission of equity and inclusion for everyone.
When we think about this history and how it pertains to our work at Bridgeways we ask ourselves, “How can we be more equitable in the context of mental health?” With the reality being that, “Black and African American people are more often diagnosed with schizophrenia and less often diagnosed with mood disorders compared to white people with the same symptoms.” Along with that fact, they are also, “…offered medication or therapy at lower rates than the general population,” which tells us part of our mission needs involve us being more cognizant of those realities.
With that information and the current racial and political climate in this country being what it is, we want to offer some resources to help better understand this country’s history with slavery and racism. Some of the resources are long, some short. Some relate to mental health, some function to help in a corporate context and some are general tips for folks to be better antiracists. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but we hope you find them constructive and useful.
- New Jim Crow, Michele Alexander
- Between The World And Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
- White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo
- “How we can make racism a solvable problem — and improve policing”, Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff
- “White Supremacy Culture”, Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun https://www.dismantlingracism.org/uploads/4/3/5/7/43579015/okun_-_white_sup_culture.pdf
- “Racism in mental healthcare: An invisible barrier.” Maria Cohut, Ph.D. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/racism-in-mental-healthcare-an-invisible-barrier
- How To Be An Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
- “Discrimination and Racism in the History of Mental Health Care.” Kylie M. Smith, Ph.D. https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/July-2020/Discrimination-and-Racism-in-the-History-of-Mental-Health-Care
- “The intersectionality wars: When Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term 30 years ago, it was a relatively obscure legal concept. Then it went viral.” Jane Coaston https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/5/20/18542843/intersectionality-conservatism-law-race-gender-discrimination
- The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin