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Friday, February 24, 2017

Racism is bad for your health

From the Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley on September 8, 2016:

Researchers compared the racial biases of nearly 1.4 million people nationwide to death rates in more than 1,700 US counties. Their findings suggest that blacks and, to a lesser degree, whites who reside in overtly racist communities are more prone to dying from heart disease and other circulatory diseases.

For more click here.


Racism is not a psychiatric disorder in and of itself. Social groups often take pride in their group and feel and think they are superior to others. 

Individual racism can be distinguished from institutional and structural racism where  a culture and system are rigged by the group in power to oppress and dominate the minority group. Individuals tend to act out the beliefs and values of their reference groups. It may be more helpful to think about racism as a cultural phenomenon with individual behaviors and beliefs being a symptom of more deep seated dysfunctional norms, values, and beliefs.

Mental health professionals are not only concerned with the dysfunctional behaviors, thoughts, and feelings of their clients but also with the emotional systems in which these individuals participate such as their families, communities, states, nation, and religious and civic organizations.

Are some communities, organizations, institutions, and political and religious groups more racist than others? Could we then say that some communities, organizations, institutions, and political and religious groups more mentally healthy than others?

Mental health professionals are not interested in enhancing the mental health of individuals, but with families, communities, organizations, institutions, and cultures as well.

For more click here.

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