Microaggressions and Mental Health

Culture Chats

Written by Nathan Hall |

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The term “microaggression” dates back to the 1970s, and was coined by African American Harvard University psychiatrist Chester Pierce, specifically in relation to race. Overtime the term has expanded and now includes members of various marginalized groups, including but not limited to; racialized people, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities and more. While a microaggression may seem harmless, a lifetime of microaggressions can be quite devastating to a person’s mental health. In an article by Pfizer it was stated that "Research continues to show that racism and discrimination contribute to poor health among minorities and people of color, resulting in increased rates of depression, prolonged stress and trauma, anxiety, even heart disease and type 2 diabetes". It is important for racialized professionals to prioritize their mental wellbeing when being impacted by microaggressions in the workplace and the community.

This presentation will review the ways in which microaggressions and racism impact mental wellness.  You will learn how to check in with our mind and body, and explore what one may need during and after experiences of racial trauma.  Various tools and strategies will be offered for supporting mental wellness amidst experiences of microaggressions and racism.

What You'll Learn

  • The effects of racism and microaggressions on mental health
  • Notice the somatic (body) symptoms that may arise when racial trauma occurs
  • Learn strategies for checking in with the needs of your mind and body
  • Honour what your mind and body are communicating to you so that you can care for your mental health

Speaker Bio

Rebekah (she/her) is a biracial Black woman of Ugandan, German, and Dutch descent, raised on the West Coast and currently residing on the traditional land of the Mississauga of the Credit, Anishnabeg, Chippewa, and the Haudenosaunee peoples, also known as Toronto.  She has spent over 10 years in community settings, working primarily with Indigenous, Black and Racialized communities in various capacities including mentorship, program development, harm reduction, case management, and clinical counselling.  

Rebekah holds a Bachelors of Social Work from the University of British Columbia and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Victoria.  Currently she offers counselling and workshops through her private practice, Inner Well Counselling, where she enjoys journeying with people as they explore their mental wellness. In her down time you can find Rebekah boxing, practicing yoga, in contrast (hot/cold) therapy, traveling, watching reality tv, or in nature.

Instagram

@innerwellcounselling

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