untitled design

Mental health: how discrimination affects the mental health of minoritized groups

How are you?

Before answering this common question, which sometimes goes unnoticed or already has an automatic answer to be given, I want to invite you to reflect.

Is it, or would it be, okay if you were the favorite target of police actions, if people like you were at the top of the statistics of violent deaths in the country, if you were not accepted for the way you chose to live?

Is it, or would it be, okay if you didn’t feel included in society and were rejected for the way you are? Is it, or would it be, okay if you were discriminated against, were the victim of a series of daily violence, rejections and prejudices?

And there? Is, or would be, okay?

For many people who go through this, they are not and are not doing well at all. It is situations like these that black people and/or those who are part of the LGBTQIAPN+ community go through almost daily.

And, as a result, the mental health of many of them is not going well at all. And we need to pay attention to that. We need to talk more about this.

Prejudice and discrimination against people who are part of minority groups directly affect their mental health. In the case of the black population, for example, structural racism is the main cause of a series of psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression.

The aggression and violence suffered daily or throughout life and the exclusion and social pressure experienced by those with black skin are – consciously or unconsciously – very harmful to the mental health of the black population.

Imagine yourself (if you don’t feel it yourself): being pre-judged all the time because of the color of your skin, being the main target of violence in the country, having to prove your ability all the time, finding it more difficult to access places and positions , carrying the heavy burden of having to be ‘strong’ or ‘warrior’ all the time and having to be alert and defensive to avoid the tricks of structural racism. There is mental health to support this, right?

Just like the black population, the mental health of the LGBTQIAPN+ community also deserves attention. A study by the #VoteLGBT collective showed a 26% increase in the worsening of the psychological situation of this population in recent years. And look, the survey heard more than 7 thousand people! No, it’s not okay.

Anxiety and depression also directly affect those who are constantly the target of violence, discrimination and rejection due to their sexual orientation.

Not feeling part of society, not always having family support, living in hiding, suffering or being the victim of physical attacks in public because of who they are… All of this takes a toll on many people’s psychological well-being.

The most alarming thing of all is that, in some cases, the end of this story may be ending one’s own life. According to the Ministry of Health, the suicide rate among black teenagers is 45% higher than among whites, for example.

A survey by the Bahia Gay Group shows that, last year, 256 LGBT+ people were murdered or committed suicide in the country. According to the Gender and Number survey, 57% of the LGBTI+ population in the country that self-mutilates is black.

Numbers like these are scary. But numbers are not just numbers. These are lives. And lives that may be next to us in need of help. Therefore, always ask if everything is ok, but try to understand who is on the other side of the question. And, if she is part of one of these minority groups, pay attention to the answer and want to know, in fact, everything is fine.

Source: CNN Brasil

You may also like

Most popular