For the past week, the United States has witnessed an uprising against racism and racist police brutality unseen since the aftermath of the 1968 assasination of Martin Luther King Jr. While many white Americans are only now waking up to the realities of police brutality against Black communities, racism has always undergirded American life — and people of color have always known and borne this burden.
From police brutality to health inequality — particularly visible during the coronavirus pandemic — and racist microaggressions, people of colors’ lived experiences of racism take a severe mental health toll. Racism is a form of trauma. Experiences of brutality, harassment, and stigma can lead to PTSD symptoms; so too can repeated exposure to videos of racist police brutality on social media. As a result of this profound stress, Black Americans are 20% more likely than white Americans to live with mental illness.
Today, dozens of Black- and people of color-led grassroots organizations, clinics, and collectives provide therapeutic resources for communities that experience racist oppression. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of these groups as a starting point; countless more are doing difficult, phenomenal community wellness work every day. These resources include both conventional talk therapy — often at subsidized rates and available remotely during the coronavirus pandemic — as well as self-care resources and healing practices.