The Impact of Historical Trauma and Racism on Mental Health

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Hosted By: African communities Public Health Coalition;

Keynote speaker : Dr. Sayida Peprah,

California State University San Bernardo

Race-related stressors and micro-stressors have been linked to negative mental health outcomes among African Americans. Of the many race-related stressors and micro stressors that exist for African Americans, the experience of being under the care of a provider who lacks cultural sensitivity, humility, congruence and competence has been identified as a significant stressor and barrier to mental health care.  Additionally, lack of knowledge regarding the unique circumstances surrounding African American historical trauma and the impacts these have on coping and physical health prevents providers from adequately addressing the needs of patients and clients.  This presentation focused on increasing the competence, sensitivity and humility of providers, in an effort to promote the establishment of trauma-free and supportive mental health care environments for African Americans.  In addition, this presentation focused on increasing provider’s ability to detect and assess for significant coping deficits and strengths among African Americans, which impact mental health and physical health.