This page is dedicated to mental health resources, housing information, and other off-campus and on-campus resources that exist for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Mental Health & People of Color
Mental health is a growing concern in the U.S. as a whole, however, people of color are 50% less likely to seek care for mental health concerns as compared to whites.
There are significant historical, structural, and interpersonal factors that cause mental health disparities by race. We designed this resource toolkit to help you design strategies to optimize your mental health and support the mental health of our communities.
Common Mental Health Challenges for POC
Many communities of color view mental health challenges as “First World” or “white people problems.” Because previous generations endured structural discrimination/oppression like slavery and immigration, younger people are sometimes judged for their mental health conditions and told to “get over it.” This dismissal can make people feel weak, isolated, and ashamed of their mental health conditions, worsening their mental health.
Intergenerational experiences are subjective. Your feelings are valid despite what others may tell you. Take the time to recognize what your stress level is and manage it in a healthy and balanced way.
The Pressures of Being One of the Few
Sometimes POC feel that as “one of the few” POC in predominantly white spaces, they are pressured to act in ways that do not reinforce negative racial stereotypes. This may lead to emotional distress.
You are not the spokesperson for your race. Find healthy ways to express your emotion like physical exercise and talk therapy.
“Self-Care” Viewed as Selfish
There’s a tendency in POC communities to view “self-care” activities (i.e. sleep, exercise, therapy, massage, creating and maintaining healthy boundaries, etc.) as selfish, a waste of money, and better allocated for other matters. This can exacerbate your mental health by creating feelings of self-blame.
You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. Self-care is preventative care and is worth the time, money, and energy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Isolation & Belonging
POC on the majority of campuses are less likely to describe their community as inclusive, and more likely to feel isolated. This creates feelings of loneliness that create feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. If race is excluded as a factor, communities that experience discrimination and/or oppression report higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
While it may be natural to gravitate toward people from our own race, it is most important to be around supportive people. Building community is finding a safe space where you are accepted as you are. Get Connected with a Provider
Tips for Optimizing Mental Health
You don’t have to experience a mental health crisis to take your mental health seriously. Here are some preventive steps you can take to optimize your mental health:
- Identify the type of processor you are. (verbal/written/physical)
- Make a coping plan, keeping in mind what is helpful to you when you feel overwhelmed.
- Physical outlets: sports, dance, boxing, yoga, etc.
- Write it down: journaling.
- Say it out loud (to yourself or others).
- Ask your support system [beforehand]:
- “What can you handle?”
- “How much is too much to share with you?”
- Identify spaces of belonging.
- Anxiety Reliever
- Sanvello: Stress & Anxiety Help
- Mantra - Daily Affirmations
- Clear Fear
- Clear Harm
- What People Get Wrong About Living With Both Anxiety And Depression
- How To Tell Your Family Being Home For The Holidays Isn't Good For You
- 10 Anxiety Hacks Therapists Swear By
- For Black Women, Self-Care Can be a Radical Act What to Expect in Psychotherapy
- Adults Can & Must Do Better When It Comes to Black Teen Mental Health
- African Americans, Afro-Caribbean Americans, And Addiction
Get Connected with a Provider
- Melanin & Mental Health
- Melanin Therapists
- African American Mental Health Providers
- African American Therapists Directory
- Black Mental Health Directory
- Therapy for Black Girls
- Black Virtual Wellness Directory
- Ourselves Black Provider Directory
- Psychology Today: Black and African American Therapists
- Health in Her Hue
- Therapy for Latinx
- Latinx Therapy
- Psychology Today: Hispanic and Latino Therapists
- Ethnic Counselors
- Institute for Muslim Mental Health
- National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
- Psychology Today: Asian Therapists
- National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network
- Open Path Collective: Affordable Psychotherapy
- Psychology Today: Native American Therapists