Discrimination, prejudice and mistreatment because of who we are, where we’re from, how we act or who we love, can have a profound impact on mental health. It increases the risk of mental health conditions, substance misuse and suicide. If mistreatment causes you or someone you know emotional harm, it’s essential to take action.
Discrimination has three primary impacts on our mental health: prejudice, oppression and access to resources. Medical News Today offers a comprehensive article digging into these topics, warning signs of distress due to discrimination and ways to cope.
Prejudice is to have preconceived beliefs about someone because they belong to certain groups. It can negatively impact people at work, their access to education and other services and physical or mental health concerns.
Oppression occurs when one group suppresses another group for their own gain or other selfish reasons. Common forms of oppression include persecution, enslavement and violence that targets people of color.
Access to Resources
Discrimination and racism also impact a person or group’s ability to access mental health care and other resources. This happens for many reasons, but in America, economic disparity and health insurance are primary factors.
How to Cope
The American Psychological Association shares strategies for coping with stress, anxiety and hopelessness due to discrimination.
Meditation on Grief and Injustice
If you’re experiencing discrimination, it’s important to find ways to give yourself the care that the outside world may not be providing. Headspace put together a meditation to navigate grief and injustice.
Unfortunately, discrimination is common. The trauma and distress is real and harmful. Please seek help if you or someone you know is struggling.