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Mental Health Update

June 18, 2020
Mental Health Update

MH Update – 6/18/20 – Importance of Recognition of Juneteenth

Tomorrow, June 19th, our country recognizes Juneteenth, which the official day commemorating the end of American slavery in Texas.

Listed below is an anti-racism pledge created by our National Organization, Mental Health America.

Below that is a reiteration of MHANYS Statement recognizing our organization’s continued commitment to systemic changes needed to end racism in our country. As we said in our statement, “Effective mental health advocacy must embrace and advance the fight for racial equality and social justice.”   We are all committed to making that happen.


 Mental Health America Pledge

MHA has issued an anti-racism pledge, “Mental Health America understands that racism undermines mental health. Therefore, we are committed to anti-racism in all that we do. This means that we pledge to work against individual racism, interpersonal racism, and institutional racism in all their forms,” which is posted on the MHA website.

We urge you to do the same if you have not already done so to demonstrate the unity of the affiliate network with the anti-racism movement. MHA will be reviewing its policies, partnerships, programs, etc. to ensure that we apply anti-racism standards.

Feel free to share what stance your affiliate is taking or plans to take. As someone once said, “A Movement Against Racism Should Be a Movement for Mental Health.”


SUBJECT: Racism has caused trauma for generations. We’re committed to systemic change. 

For hundreds of years, racism has forced People of Color to endure unrelenting trauma.

With every painful personal experience and every public tragedy – like the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others – the trauma builds or is reignited.

We must also recognize that systemic racism and the discrimination experienced throughout one’s life are continuously traumatizing forces – ongoing stressors that cause deepening harm.

Racism’s impact on Black Americans’ mental health cannot be ignored. Effective mental health advocacy must embrace and advance the fight for racial equity and social justice.

As an organization of providers, peers, family members, clinicians, and advocates, the Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS) is committed to taking action that addresses inequities in health, education, housing, poverty and other human services. We will ensure our work is informed by an understanding that Black lives matter and Black mental health matters. We are determined to do our part to drive systemic change.

Alongside our affiliates, we will listen and empower communities across the state to champion reform. In our work with state and local lawmakers, we will advocate for legislation that supports the mental health and wellness needs of New York’s BIPOC communities.

In this moment, when so many are in pain and experiencing re-traumatization, we need to be there for each other and care for one another’s mental health – because our collective wellness will strengthen our resilience for the work ahead.

Remember that help is available if you, your family, or your friends need it.