Racism has a profound impact on the health and future health of children, adolescents, and adults. Although some progress has been made toward racial equity, racism has a continued negative effect on the lives of people of color.
By acknowledging the role of racism on health outcomes, health care professionals can engage strategies to reduce the negative effects and improve patients' wellbeing.
At Wellness Road Psychology, expert psychotherapist Phillip Glickman, PsyD and our team of psychology professionals are dedicated to helping children, teens, and adults overcome obstacles, make choices that foster wellness, and navigate concerns and struggles.
Whether you’re dealing with racial bias in the workplace, have been assaulted with racial slurs, or have experienced racism in school, or sports, Wellness Road Psychology provides a safe space for you to express your feelings, work through trauma, and heal.
Racism in society
Racism is the practice of assigning value based on race. It's also the belief that all members of a different race have certain qualities specific to that race. While it can function on an individual or societal level, most experts agree that racism is a systemic problem.
Racism takes various forms in modern society. Racial biases and prejudices, whether conscious or unconscious have a negative impact on people of color.
- Overt racism: This form of racism involves an open belief that members of a different race are inferior.
- Institutional racism: This type of racism occurs when government agencies, court systems, and other institutions promote racial inequality with laws, rules, and regulations that disproportionately impact minority groups.
Other forms of racism that impact people of color include the refusal to acknowledge that racism exists. This form of racism invalidates the real experiences of millions of Americans.
The impact of racism on health and wellbeing
Racism negatively impacts the health and wellbeing of people of color. It can cause stress, anxiety, and depression. For example, high school students exposed to racism are at a higher risk of dropping out. Adolescents exposed to racism report higher rates of depressed mood. When surveyed, black teens reported facing racist actions five times a day on average. What’s more, overt racism and hate crimes are on the rise on college campuses.
Exposure to racism can impact your self-esteem, cause you to feel helpless, and generate depression. Racism can impact other aspects of your health, raising the risk for heart disease, and gastrointestinal issues among others.
Improving the quality of life
At Wellness Road Psychology, Dr. Glickman can provide you with tools and strategies to help you navigate and cope in the face of racism. Therapy can help teens and college students feel empowered to speak up and encourage schools to take action against racism.
People of color are not responsible for the existence of racism and have the unfair burden of coping with exposure to racism in daily life. This stressor on top of the already stressful experiences of day-to-day life can impact mental health.
With the right support, compassion, strategies, and tools, you can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety and boost your overall sense of wellbeing.
People exposed to racism report a lower quality of life, a major impact on their mental health, or lower overall health outcomes. If you're having feelings of anxiety or depression as a result of racism, we can help. Reach out to our office to schedule an appointment. We have locations in Dobbs Ferry, and New York City, New York.