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Mental Health & Racism

Mental Health & Racism

Missed the September 13, 2020 Panel?

Don’t worry, we recorded it – watch below. 

Keep an eye out for the next installment, date to be announced soon, where we will continue the conversation with new voices.

In the first installment of our panel on Mental Health and Racism, Mental Health Professional Michael Coppage, NAMI Member Yolonda Kelsor, and Pastor Pearl Gillespie-Gray joined Moderator Eugene Blalock, Jr. to discuss:
  • the stigma surrounding mental illness in the Black community
  • disparities in mental health care
  • the effects of racial injustice and the global pandemic on African American mental health
  • and more
This was a fantastic opportunity to hear our dynamic speakers’ lived experience. 

NAMI’s Statement on Recent Racist Incidents

NAMI CEO Dan Gillison, NAMI Southwest OhioThe National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) released the following statement from CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., regarding recent racist incidents across the country and their impact on mental health:

“The effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real and cannot be ignored. The disparity in access to mental health care in communities of color cannot be ignored. The inequality and lack of cultural competency in mental health treatment cannot be ignored.

Our nation’s African American community is going through an extremely painful experience, pain that has been inflicted upon this community repeatedly throughout history and is magnified by mass media and repeated deaths. We stand with all the families, friends and communities who have lost loved ones senselessly due to racism. And, with more than 100,000 lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic – disproportionately from minority communities – these recent deaths add gasoline to the fire of injustice.

While there is much we need to do to address racism in our country, we must not forget the importance of mental health as we do so. Racism is a public health crisis.

As the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, it is our responsibility to serve all. While as an organization we are still early in our intentional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey and have much to do, we have renewed our commitment to our values. We continue to strive to deliver help and hope to all who need it.

NAMI stands in solidarity with everyone impacted across the country. You are not alone.”


Black Mental Health Resources

There are a variety of mental health resources available for people of color, but we have provided a few examples at the link above.*

*Please note: The resources included here are not endorsed by NAMI, and NAMI is not responsible for the content of or service provided by any of these resources.


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