Living in Canada does not exempt us from racism. Racism is all around us. It can happen at school, at work, at home, and online. It can even happen with your family or in relationships. In some cases, racism is obvious by signs of bullying or verbal abuse, but this isn’t always the case.
Racism is sometimes right in front of us, and we don’t even realize it. These behaviours have been a part of our way of life, and these subtle instances sometimes make it hard to notice.
Imagine being treated differently just because of the colour of your skin? Or if you have an accent, or even because of your ethnicity! This lifelong feeling of seeing yourself as different can have a negative effect on a person’s mental health.
In this article, we will look at how racism can affect mental health and how you can get help if you are experiencing the impacts of racism.
What Are the Effects of Racism on Mental Health?
Here are some examples:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Higher risk of depression or suicide
- Drug and alcohol problems
- High levels of anxiety and stress-related illnesses
When a person begins to battle the effects of racism, they may start to accept these racial behaviours and consider it as being normal. This leads to low self-esteem and added mental distress.
There is a term called Racial Battle Fatigue. This is when people are constantly on edge in their environment to protect themselves. This leads the individual to feel disconnected and worthless.
This build-up of stress accumulates over the years and can lead to many physical health issues down the road like heart disease, kidney disease and high blood pressure.
How To Get Mental Health Help and Support
The first and most challenging step is to talk about your feelings. Even if you think your friends or family may not be able to relate to what you are feeling, sometimes all you need is for someone to listen. If it starts to feel uncomfortable or awkward at the beginning, give it some time. Once you express your feelings, you could be surprised that others share the same experiences.
Your mental health isn’t something to be ashamed about, and there are professionals that can help you.
There are many mental health services available for you, but it is important that you find the help that is tailored to you.
At PsyMood, we understand the racial trauma you are going through and how hard it may be to talk about your feelings. Especially if you have that extra language or cultural barrier, it makes it harder to express yourself truly.
We will connect you with mental health support specialists who speak your preferred language and share similar cultural beliefs and backgrounds. We want to make sure you are comfortable and able to express yourself fully.
Another way to help yourself is to learn about mental health problems and mental illness. There are many credible sources online that can help you learn more about how you are feeling and why you are feeling this way. By educating yourself, it may help reduce your anxiety and stress.
We have started our own blog where we will discuss topics around mental health and helping minorities in Canada! Feel free to stop by if you are looking for helpful tips on mental health topics.
Online Support Groups
Support groups are a great way for people who share similar experiences to help each other learn from one another. It is a great feeling to know you are not alone and to read about success stories. Support groups are offered in a variety of different ways. You can find support groups through your school, mental health service providers, hospitals, social media and more.
It is important to make sure you are choosing a support group that fits your needs. A good group should leave you finding a new perspective, or a helpful tool, or a new connection to help you with your progress.
Remember, how you look or how you talk should not determine how you are treated. You are worthy of respect and love.
When it comes to mental health, we speak your language. Sign up today to match with a mental health specialist based on your needs, which may include language, cultural background, and therapeutic needs.