beyond the green: collective of middlebury voices

a student-run publication that seeks to provide space for voices that are not being heard on our campus. we are grounded by politics that are radical, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-classist, anti-homophobic, anti-ableist, and anti-transphobic (against all forms of oppression) and that reject the structural neo-liberal paradigm that characterizes middlebury college and its official publications

RACISM AND MENTAL HEALTH

Recently, students, faculty and staff at Middlebury College have started talking increasingly about students’ mental health.  We are happy that these conversations are happening and would like to delve deeper into the topic by highlighting how systems of oppression greatly impact many students’ mental health.

        On this page we focus on how racism impacts the mental health of people of color.  Since racism is rarely incorporated into discussions of mental health on this campus, we have compiled some articles and resources on the topic to help provide students with information and context to expand the current conversation about mental health.

 

— “6 Ways White Supremacy Takes a Toll on the Mental Health of Black People,” by Terrell Jermaine Starr

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/6-ways-white-supremacy-takes-toll-mental-health-black-people

 

— “How Racism is Bad for Our Bodies,” by Jason Silverstein

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/03/how-racism-is-bad-for-our-bodies/273911/

“First, because of the prevalence of racial discrimination, being a racial minority leads to greater stress. Not surprisingly, Anderson found that 18.2 percent of black participants experienced emotional stress and 9.8 percent experienced physical stress. Comparatively, only 3.5 and 1.6 percent of whites experienced emotional and physical stress, respectively.

Second, this stress leads to poorer mental and physical health. But this is not only because stress breaks the body down. It is also because stress pushes people to cope in unhealthy ways.”

 

–“Racism’s Psychological Toll,” by Jenna Wortham

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/24/magazine/racisms-psychological-toll.html?_r=0

 

— “Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Struggles With Suicides Among Its Young,” by Julie Bosman

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/02/us/pine-ridge-indian-reservation-struggles-with-suicides-among-young-people.html?_r=0

 

— When reading the above article it’s helpful to also look at the following articles.  Not only does racism and systemic violence contribute to higher suicide rates among native youth, but racism also denies these communities adequate funding to support these young people.

 

“For Native Americans, Mental Health Budget Cuts Hit Hard,” by Laurel G. Morales

“Native American tribes gave up millions of acres to the federal government in the 19th century in exchange for promises of funded health care, education and housing. But time and again, those funds have been cut.” http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/09/12/221408312/for-native-americans-mental-health-budget-cuts-hit-hard

 

“Native Americans Urges to Sign Up For Private Insurance,” by Eric Whitney

 

“Native Americans are exempt from the health law’s requirement to have insurance coverage. They’re eligible for healthcare through the Indian Health Service, or IHS, since the federal government promised in treaties to provide healthcare in exchange for tribes giving up their land. How’s it doing?” “It is really in tough shape. It basically runs out of money about nine months into the fiscal year. There’s a real issue on getting healthcare professionals into Indian country. I mean, it’s really in crisis.” http://www.npr.org/2014/11/18/364889034/native-americans-urged-to-sign-up-for-private-insurance

 

Communities of color tend to experience greater burden of mental and substance use disorders often due to poorer access to care; inappropriate care; and higher social, environmental, and economic risk factors.”

http://www.samhsa.gov/specific-populations/racial-ethnic-minority

 

“Beyond Misdiagnosis, Misunderstanding and Mistrust: Relevance of the Historical Perspective in the Medical and Mental Health Treatment of People of Color,” by Derek Suite, Robert La Bril, Annelle Primm, and Phyllis Harrison-Ross.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2574307/pdf/jnma00207-0025.pdf

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