|Weekly News Digest
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APA President Explains the Toll of 'Living in a Racism Pandemic'
Sandra L. Shullman, president of the American Psychological Association (APA), made a statement on “the mental health consequences of recent high-profile violent events targeting African Americans.” She states, in part:
The deaths of innocent black people targeted specifically because of their race—often by police officers—are both deeply shocking and shockingly routine.
If you’re black in America—and especially if you are a black male—it’s not safe to go birding in Central Park, to meet friends at a Philadelphia Starbucks, to pick up trash in front of your own home in Colorado or to go shopping almost anywhere.
We are living in a racism pandemic, which is taking a heavy psychological toll on our African American citizens. The health consequences are dire. Racism is associated with a host of psychological consequences, including depression, anxiety and other serious, sometimes debilitating conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders. Moreover, the stress caused by racism can contribute to the development of cardiovascular and other physical diseases. …
The American Psychological Association urges those who are experiencing trauma in the aftermath of these tragedies to practice self-care. Connect with family, friends and other community support people, talk about your feelings and limit your exposure and that of your children to news media and viral videos. Seek professional help if you need it.
For more information, read the press release.
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