Mental Health is Different for People of Color in These 3 Ways


In this piece for Rest for Resistance, Dom Chatterjee discusses the white-centricism of mental health as well as the specific ways that the mental health system and dominant paradigm of mental health oppress people of color.

“Within minutes of opening The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook, I found this: ‘Healing occurs in a climate of safety and pacing. When you were traumatized, you were not safe. This time, however, you will always remain safe and in control.’ In other words, we just have to realize we’re safe now, and then the trauma responses can slow down.

We’re supposed to accept that trauma is in the past. But what if it’s not?

When trauma is tied to systemic oppression such as racism, leaving it in the past can be and often is impossible. Given that safe spaces are an ideal, not a reality for most of us, these kinds of statements are invalidating. If feeling safe is a required condition for healing, that makes any kind of recovery inaccessible to those of us enduring chronic trauma from the world around us.”

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