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The effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real and cannot be ignored. The disparity in access to mental health care in communities of color cannot be ignored. The inequality and lack of cultural competency in mental health treatment cannot be ignored.

Our nation’s African American community is going through an extremely painful experience, pain that has been inflicted upon this community repeatedly throughout history and is magnified by mass media and repeated deaths. We stand with all the families, friends and communities who have lost loved ones senselessly due to racism. And, with more than 100,000 lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic - disproportionately from minority communities - these recent deaths add gasoline to the fire of injustice.

While there is much we need to do to address racism in our country, we must not forget the importance of mental health as we do so. Racism is a public health crisis.

As the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, it is our responsibility to serve all. While as an organization we are still early in our intentional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey and have much to do, we have renewed our commitment to our values. We continue to strive to deliver help and hope to all who need it.

NAMI stands in solidarity with everyone impacted across the country. You are not alone.

- NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr.

Some resources for starting the conversation with your children and family:

Black Lives Matter at School Resources- National Education Association

Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with young children and their families- NAEYC

Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice- Teaching Tolerance
At a loss for words: talking to kids about racism- Multnomah County Library 

Children’s Books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance at

20 Picture Books for 2020: Readings to Embrace Race, Provide Solace & Do Good | EmbraceRace

Anti-Racism for Kids 101: Starting to talk about race’s Museum

Children’s Law Center

Organizations working on Racial Justice Issues- compiled by the Oregon Community Foundation

Mental Health Resources

University of California, Davis, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

University of Northern Texas, Racial trauma and self-care in tragedy

“Structural racism, trauma and violence” 

a talk by Alisha Moreland-Capuia, M.D., executive director, OHSU Avel Gordly Center for Healing, assistant professor of Psychiatry, OHSU.

Empowering Adopted Children of Color in the Face of Racism and Discrimination

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