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Here are some ways you can show support to a person of color (POC) with a mental illness.


“Physical illness doesn’t discriminate by skin color, eye color, height, weight, etc. Neither does mental illness.”

“We are all human and have life experiences that deserve honor and respect. Don’t just listen to us, hear us when we speak.”


“Communication barriers and racial stereotypes can change the way a POC (person of color) experiences and express their emotions.”

“Support can be as simple as basic recognition of a struggle and an openness to the idea that Western psychology alone might not be enough to heal the effects of those micro-aggressions.”


“When an unarmed black man or woman is shot by the police it can trigger symptoms of PTSD in the black community.”

“People can be supportive by making sure we’re doing OK, and by not constantly sharing graphic videos of the shooting in our newsfeeds.”

-Jasmin Pierre, Creator of The Safe Place app

“It’s important to remember that mental health in POC communities isn’t treated the same way as it is within other cultures, especially in immigrant families.”

“Allies need to recognize we have personal and cultural histories that change the way we experience mental health issues.”

-Shika Lakshman

“It can be isolating to be a person of color with a mental illness, because we already feel like a minority within a minority group.”

“An ally should remind me that I’m not alone, and appreciate that we come from different backgrounds and cultures.”


“People of color have a different set of challenges, such as institutional racism, generational trauma from slavery and police brutality.”

“Even if you cannot relate, please practice compassion because at the end of the day, we are all human and deserve it.”

-T-Kea Blackman, Speaker & Mental Health Advocate

While mental illness can affect anyone, prejudice, racism, stereotypes and language barriers can prevent people of color from getting the help they deserve.

Even if you cannot relate, be mindful, ask questions and, above all, show compassion.

If you are a person of color with a mental illness, please remember you are not alone.

Originally published: July 27, 2018
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