As you may have seen in the media, there is a disproportionate amount of cases of COVID-19 in black and brown communities. Although there is not enough research available yet, the data that is published highlights the challenges that communities of color face.
Some of the arguments state that black and brown communities are already at a high risk, more susceptible to hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases. This makes this population a lot more vulnerable and the lack of resources available in these neighborhoods is an added disadvantage.
Black and brown people also experience discrimination in treatment in the healthcare system. Additionally, testing has been more available to people of a higher SES, which is made up more of our counterparts.
This concern might already feel too large to tackle, but a small thing we can do is create more awareness and acknowledge the reality that communities of color face. Physical health is important, and what tends to be neglected is our mental health.
Stress, anxiety, and depression have physiological impacts on our bodies
During a time of a pandemic, there is a heightened level of anxiety lurking around. Add the lack of mental health resources available to said communities, we again, become even more vulnerable. Now more than ever, we also need to be paying close attention to the impact of this pandemic on our mental wellbeing.
However, therapy is not given as much of a priority in black and brown communities. There remains a stigma surrounding it. I have heard many arguments like “We don’t get depressed, just shake it off” or “Therapy is for white people.”
What we are seeing and have always seen is that illness, mental or physical, does not discriminate. Taking care of our mental health is just as vital, and you deserve that.
As social creatures, we are not meant to live in isolation. It is important to understand that whatever you are feeling right now, whether that be relief from the amount of work and hustle that you put in or maybe there is added stress due to loneliness and financial fears, give yourself permission to feel it all.
Wherever you are on the spectrum, remember that what you are experiencing is completely normal and is okay. You can show up in any way during a time like this. It is easy to fall off our routine, so it is essential to make sure we keep a sense of normalcy, take care of ourselves, and seek support from trusted ones.
I am here to help spread that awareness. If we take care of ourselves now, we will be better equipped to confront the challenges that people of color uniquely face.