Mental Health America’s Board of Directors released an updated statement on anti-racism and health equity, reaffirming MHA’s ongoing commitment to social change and racial justice.
The statement reads:
“Mental Health America is committed to advancing an anti-racist agenda and promoting health equity. We affirm the importance of mental health advocacy and recognize that racial injustice has caused trauma and harm to minoritized communities. We acknowledge that combating racism and inequity is an ongoing commitment. The impact of economic, clinical, and environmental disparities, including diverse linguistic needs, may hinder the opportunity to access and receive quality and equitable mental health care and services. Thus, we remain devoted to addressing discrimination, stigma, and other social and moral determinants of health, leading by example and educating our affiliates and communities. Together, we stand united in support of racial justice and the intersection of mental health and the well-being of humanity.”
“MHA has an important role to play in ensuring equitable mental health access for all Americans, particularly those who have suffered as a result of systemic racism,” said Peter Carson, Chair of the Board.
MHA’s Board of Directors Ad Hoc Committee on Anti-Racism, Equity, and Social Justice (ARES) developed the statement, establishing an on-going organizational commitment to advance equity in mental health care.
“The impact of racism affects mental wellness. The traumas experienced by minoritized communities are real and must be openly recognized and addressed. Our work remains focused on protecting the rights and dignity of all individuals with lived mental health experiences. Responsibility means acknowledging the truth that race and ethnicity have been long-standing access barriers to receiving culturally sensitive and appropriate mental health care. Prioritizing mental health equity is, therefore, a central tenet to our work,” said Courtney Lang, Chair of the new committee.
In addition to releasing this updated statement, in the coming year, the committee plans to:
- identify and conduct diversity, equity, and inclusion training for MHA's board and staff,
- assist the MHA affiliate network in building equity competencies, and
- advance an operational framework that supports solutions to mental health care through an anti-racism lens.