The studies over the past several years show the impact of systemic racism on accessibility to the basic mental healthcare facilities. Mainly the people of color or the individuals belonging to minority ethnic backgrounds face inequality when it comes to a healthy lifestyle or basic healthcare facilities.
The coronavirus pandemic had a huge impact on black communities. The after-effects of the pandemic include poor mental health of these individuals or marginalized communities. People of color generally face racism in their everyday life. It is a huge assortment of people coming from different ethnic backgrounds.
Institutional racism also plays a huge role in the poor mental health of these people. It is sometimes very subtle and a person cannot identify it in a normal conversation. However, sometimes, people generally assume things about people of a particular race or a particular ethnic background. It includes misconceptions and assumptions about a particular community. This institutional racism is also deeply rooted in the institutes offering mental healthcare.
A report came forward in 2014 in the UK regarding the mental health problems in black people. The report showed that the instance of mental health issues in black people was far less than people of other backgrounds. However, these people have a greater chance of diagnosis of a mental health issue more than others and have a greater frequency of hospitalizations.
While black people get diagnosed with a mental health problem more frequently, they also get mistreated at healthcare facilities. Several studies show that racism exists even in mental healthcare institutes which makes it difficult for them to access such facilities.
The report also mentions that black people face a harsh attitude towards them at such facilities as compared to a white person. Also, they have limited access to primary and therapeutic facilities at such institutes. While these people face racism at these facilities, some people do not have access to them in the first place. Most black people do not have these facilities available to them.
Mental health issues are also stigmatized in the community very frequently. This also makes it difficult to access mental health facilties, particularly for black people.
Thomas Vance, Ph.D., is a psychologist who wrote an article on mental health for Columbia University. In his article, he mentioned about the link between stigmatization of mental health and institutional racism regarding black communities.
Vance wrote in his article the problems black people face when they need such a facility. He pointed out the misconduct of the provider and the stigma and mistrust associated with their ethnicity.
The stigma associated with mental health is nearly common to all societies and communities. However, the stigma is greatly amplified in some communities which leads to the inaccessibility of mental health facilities. An example of this the racism associated with black people and the people of color associated with other ethnic groups. Such people usually face racism and misconduct due to their ethnicity.
The only solution to make mental healthcare inclusive to everyone is by eliminating racism from institutions. The facility should be available for all in the same manner. Also, the behavior of the healthcare providers and organizations should be the same particularly with people of color. This might help in improving the mental health facilities for such people.