HOW CAN RACISM AFFECT MENTAL HEALTH?
- Racism can have a huge impact on how you feel and your mental health.
- Experiencing discrimination or being treated differently by a person, people, or organisation because of your race, ethnicity or skin colour is unfair and can be distressing
- Racism isn’t just about being called names and it isn’t always obvious. Racism can have an impact on someone’s life opportunities, as well as the treatment they receive from people in positions of authority like employers, teachers, doctors, and police officers. All of this can be overwhelming, but there’s help out there.
Racism can have a huge impact on your mental health. Experiencing racism regularly in your everyday life or even one sudden moment can really take its toll on how you feel. If you’re struggling with your mental wellbeing and need to talk to someone you can call the CALM helpline, where trained staff are on hand to give you practical advice on moving forward.
If you learnt about racism at school, it’s likely it centred around name calling and obvious acts of aggression based on a person’s race, ethnicity or skin colour, but that’s only one aspect. If you’ve experienced racism, you’ll know it’s not as simple as that. You might find that many people don’t even realise that what they’re doing or saying is racist, which can be even more frustrating. There is hope, the world is changing, people are educating themselves but that doesn’t make experiencing racism any easier.
Movements like Black Lives Matter have brought racism into the spotlight in recent years, if you want to find out more about racism, or being actively anti-racist, you can find out more here.