Skyland Trail stands united with community efforts to end police violence and eliminate racism. In addition to being morally wrong, these factors in our society contribute to mental health problems for individuals and entire communities. Experiencing or witnessing trauma increases risk for developing a range of mental illnesses. Being the victim of bullying or being “othered” by peers also can contribute to many mental health disorders. Racism and economic inequality compound barriers to accessing quality mental health care for people of color.
As a nonprofit mental health treatment organization, Skyland Trail has an opportunity to help people heal from the effects of trauma. We also have an obligation to help end the harmful conditions that lead to such pain.
We recognize that we have work to do.
Skyland Trail established a Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2019. The Committee’s goal is to develop and implement a strategic plan to ensure that our intention to be an organization that embraces diversity is supported and made real by measurable efforts to make diversity and inclusion values integral to all our programming, policies, and culture.
Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee will work with leadership to determine specific actions we can take to advance the momentum of the present moment as well as to address the areas of improvement identified by the Committee through a needs analysis conducted recently.
We send love and support to our staff, clients, and community members who are hurting during these difficult times. We affirm that Black Lives Matter. And we pledge to take action.
We would also like to highlight organizations working specifically to improve mental health for people of color:
- NAMI (https://www.nami.org/home)
- Silence the Shame (https://silencetheshame.com/)
- Therapy for Black Girls podcast (https://therapyforblackgirls.com/podcast)
- Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (https://www.beam.community/)
- Black Mental Health Alliance (https://blackmentalhealth.com/)
- Black Mental Wellness (https://www.blackmentalwellness.com/)
- The Loveland Foundation (https://thelovelandfoundation.org/)
- The Trevor Project (https://www.thetrevorproject.org/2020/06/01/supporting-black-lgbtq-youth-mental-health/)
Finally, we would like to encourage further reading and education on the intersection of racial trauma and mental health. Here are a few articles to begin: