The recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, as well as other instances of lethal violence and harassment of unarmed black people have gripped our collective consciousness, reminding us of painful present-day realities and historical traumas. While we are struggling to come to terms with the loss of life and the longstanding, race-based inequities that have brought us here, our commitment to the mental health and well-being of black communities and individuals remains resolute.
Annually, more than 300 black Americans are killed during an encounter with law enforcement. Researchers have found that these forms of violence have a spillover effect, with harmful psychological and physical effects. The mental health impacts on black people, have included a 73% increase in suicide attempts among black youth over the last 25 years with exposure to racism cited as a factor, increased psychological stress due to the extra processing demands placed on assuring and navigating issues of safety, and persistence of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
The Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health is committed to partnering with communities to promote social justice and mental health equity.