As May, Mental Health Awareness Month, draws to an end, SBHG leadership wants to comment on the racism and discrimination we have seen play out in recent horrible events. The killings of African Americans, George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in South Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and countless others—along with the acts of violence and hatred against Asian Americans by those associating them with the COVID pandemic—remind us that racism and discrimination towards people of color, magnified into hatred and violence, are another disease that is widespread in our country. Our hearts go out to all the victims of atrocities and their families, but also to those who experience racism in their daily lives.
This is a highly sensitive issue. We want to acknowledge that there is institutional racism towards people of color and specifically African Americans across society. We all have to actively fight racism, prejudice, and discrimination. Moving forward, we must advocate for change by working to identify problematic policies that sustain racism.
We all have to be involved at an individual community level, the statewide level, and the national level. We cannot turn on one another but rather, we must be kind, open to the experiences of others, and willingness to evaluate and change our own beliefs. It is only then we can come together to build empathy, understanding, and a shared vision and path towards where we want to be. Here is a great guide on how you can support marginalized communities.
We want you to know that SBHG leadership aspires to do this, as it greatly impacts our clients and our staff, and it is the right thing to do to stand up against intolerance and injustice. As events continue to transpire across the United States, please take a moment to check-in on your mental health along with others—the coverage on traditional media outlets and social media can be overwhelming and potentially trigger anxiety for some individuals.
As always, thank you for your hard work and steadfast dedication to our mission of serving others.
—Kent Dunlap, President & CEO and SBHG Officers