Riverside Trauma Center deplores acts of racism and acts of violence. We are deeply pained by the deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and by the deaths of many other Black, Brown, and indigenous people who have been killed by racist violence; in too many cases, at the hands of police. We deplore racism not only because of its basic violations of the sanctity of life and human rights, but because it is also a form of trauma.
Racial trauma refers to daily and historical trauma experience by people of color and indigenous people, and in these most recent cases, the deadly impact on Black people. Racism has profound, real-life consequences. Twenty years ago, the US Surgeon General declared that healthcare disparities in our country are likely due to racism, and we know that racism leads to both psychological and physical problems. We are aware that the stressful events in the US right now are causing strong reactions for many people. We stand by and offer support to the millions of our fellow community members who are impacted daily by systemic oppression and racism, and wish to help support the resilience inherent in many communities of color.
We call on our colleagues in the mental health fields to not only find ways to help support individuals, but to commit to strategies that are culturally and racially relevant; to go beyond supporting individuals to also addressing systemic issues that continue to support racism in our communities. To improve the psychological and physical well-being of people in all of our communities, we need to use our voices in our local communities, our professional communities, and with our elected officials to assert that racism is a form of trauma that must end.
We would like to share with you selected resources that some of the staff at Riverside Trauma Center have found helpful in our learning about historical trauma, systemic oppression, and racism, and that has informed how we can become better allies in the work of responding to this form of trauma.
Podcasts & Radio
Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention: Widening the Lens: Exploring the Role of Social Justice in Suicide Prevention, A Racial Equity Toolkit