With the close of week four, YWCA South Florida’s 2023 Community Justice Challenge has reached its end! During Mental Health Week, our community immersed itself in important discussions surrounding mental health to discover how psychology has become a tool of marginalization in our society. Together, we educated ourselves on how systemic injustices and issues of inequality present modern mental health challenges. As one unified South Florida community, we learned how we can rise to meet the needs of those around us.
Day 16: History of Othering & Mental Health Stigma
On the first day of Mental Health Week, we discussed the historical roots of racial disparities in the mental health system, how mental illness was used against LGBT rights, and many more pressing topics. Through audio, video and written resources, Community Justice Challenge participants joined together in conversations to uncover the interconnectivity of mental health and social justice issues in our nation.
History of Othering & Mental Health Stigma Resources:
- The Historical Roots of Racial Disparities in the Mental Health System (Article)
- How Mental Illness Was Used as a Tool Against LGBT Rights (Article)
- What Calling Women ‘Crazy’ Really Says About Femininity and Mental Illness (Video)
- Black in Mental Health – Anti-Black Racism (Video)
- Using Baker Act On Minors Comes Under Scrutiny (Podcast)
Day 17: Discrimination’s Impact on Mental Health
On day 17, we took a deeper dive into how discrimination and prejudice have a direct effect on one’s mental health. We discussed topics such as how our bodies carry racial trauma, gender discrimination’s effects on health, institutionalized racism in mental health care, the significance of culture and more. As we learned more about these issues, we’ve learned more about ourselves and how to support those around us.
Discrimination’s Impact on Mental Health Resources:
- A Therapist Breaks Down How Our Bodies Carry Racial Trauma (Video)
- Effects of gender discrimination on health (Article)
- Racism in Mental Health (Video)
- Healing Through Culture (Article)
- Racism Can Have Lifelong Implications on the Mental Health of BIPOC, According to Experts (Article)
Day 18: Race and Access to Mental Health Care
Day 18 of the Challenge was devoted to the topic of race and access to mental health care. We discussed how racism can act as a barrier to mental health, the importance of destigmatizing mental health in Latinx communities, the state of Asian American mental health and much more. As we move forward in our journey toward justice, it is essential that we continue these crucial conversations in our own circles.
Race and Access to Mental Health Care Resources:
- Why We Should Be Talking about Mental Health among Latinx Communities (Article)
- A Brief But Spectacular Take on Asian American Mental Health (Video)
- Racism in Mental Healthcare: An Invisible Barrier (Article)
- Is Systemic Racism Impeding Access to Psychedelic Therapy? (Article)
- Blacks, Hispanics and Men Get Less Mental Health Care, New CDC Data Says (Article)
Day 19: Mental Health in the Classroom
On day 19 of our ongoing discussion, our community learned about mental health’s effects in the classroom. We first began by analyzing racism’s emotional toll in the classroom through the lens of today’s college students. This was followed by a look into the impact of COVID-19 on young POCs living with anxiety. Finally, we learned why taking mental breaks are important and how structural racism is taking a mental toll on the youth of today. Through these lessons, we can move forward in creating a stronger educational system that supports students’ mental growth AND well-being.
Mental Health in the Classroom Resources:
- The Emotional Toll of Racism (Article)
- Dueling Pandemics: The Experience of Young People of Color with Anxiety Disorders During COVID-19 (Article)
- Prioritizing Mental Health in School (Video)
- Structural Racism is Taking a Toll on Children’s Mental Health (Article)
Day 20: Mental Health & the Trans Community
On the final day of our 2023 Community Justice Challenge, we focused on topics surrounding mental health in the transgender community. Through a series of conversations, we explored how anti-transgender legislation negatively impacts LGBTQ youths’ mental health, as well as broader conversations on the mental health challenges facing LGBTQ and transgender people. Together we explored how best to provide support as LGBTQ and transgender allies and more. This week, we gained greater insight into the struggles of the trans community and walked away empowered to create a more just world where all feel seen, supported and safe.
Mental Health & the Trans Community Resources:
- Anti-trans Legislation Negatively Impacted Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Youth: Poll (Article)
- Political Targeting, the Pandemic Exacerbate Mental Health Struggles of LGBTQ Youth (Video)
- Inside Mental Health Podcast: Transgender and LGBTQIA+ Mental Health (Podcast)
- How To Support The Mental Health Of LGBTQ+ Kids In Your Life Right Now, According To Experts (Article)
- The Stunning Mental Health Fallout of Don’t Say Gay Bills Like Florida’s (Article)
Although it may not show, mental health is a struggle we all face from time to time. While the challenges we face may seem like ours and ours alone, it is important to remember that we can all play a part in creating a culture of wellness. By reducing stigma, increasing awareness and providing access to resources, we can help individuals and communities build resilience, cope with challenges and thrive. Join YWCA South Florida in these efforts by continuing your education and getting involved beyond this week:
- Walk with NAMI Miami-Dade on May 20th at NAMIWalks.
- Join a free Peer Support Group, including groups geared toward the Black community and LGBTQ+ individuals, in Miami-Dade or Broward County. Learn about how you can support the mental health of your LGBTQ+ loved ones. Support the work of the Alliance for LGBTQ Youth, which provides a comprehensive system of care to LGBTQ youth, their families, and community organizations throughout Miami-Dade County at no cost.
- Support the work of the Alliance for LGBTQ Youth, which provides a comprehensive system of care to LGBTQ youth, their families, and community organizations throughout Miami-Dade County at no cost.
Beyond 21: All The RAGE Book Club & Justice Movers
Although our challenge has ended, our work must continue! Join us in Beyond 21 – an initiative focused on keeping the conversations, education and initiatives going beyond our 21-day Community Justice Challenge. This year’s Beyond 21 will see the return of our racial justice book club, All The RaGE, and feature brand-new readings and discussions we cannot wait to share.
Seeking to further social justice in our community? You can join YWCA South Florida as a direct force for change! By pledging to become a Social Justice Mover, your monthly $21 donation provides critical support for important YWCA programs that directly aid in eliminating racism, empowering women and ensuring peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Click here to learn more!
This community-wide commitment to continuing our education and combatting racism and prejudice in our community. Follow us on social media for updates on exciting programs in the coming weeks. Thank you for joining us in this year’s Community Justice Challenge!