Apr 26, 2021

For those experiencing racial trauma right now, we see you, we hear you, and we support you.

picture of I Can't Breathe mural in dedication to George Floyd

Friends,

Earlier this month we witnessed a powerful moment: Derek Chauvin being found guilty on all counts for the murder of George Floyd. While the verdict gave many a sense of relief, the anxiety that preceded the court’s decision underscored the enormous fear and injustice that permeates Black and Brown communities across the country.

Even as the trial was unfolding, a 20-year-old Daunte Wright was killed just miles away during a traffic stop. The very same day of the verdict, a 15-year-old girl, Ma’Khia Bryant, was shot to death by police in Ohio – likely after calling 911 for help.

Each new case – and there are many – adds to the heavy, implicit burden of racial trauma and imposes a significant mental health toll on individuals, families, and communities of color. Mental health advocacy today requires not only a deep understanding of the consequences of racism but a partnership with those working for racial and social justice on a larger scale.

How can we promote healing and true justice? We begin by supporting safety – not through violence and coercion, but by developing and supporting alternatives to police response that reduce the risk of violence. Other principles of trauma-informed care – collaboration, empowerment, and transparency – are essential tools for mental health advocates, just as they are for clinicians and peer supporters.

For those experiencing racial trauma right now, we see you, we hear you, and we support you. As we prepare for May is Mental Health Month activities, we are committed to working with you to promote policies and practices to eradicate racial violence and to address disparities in access to mental health information, resources, and support.

Danna Mauch, PhD
President and CEO

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