From ‘MIND’


Racism and mental health

If racism is affecting your mental health, we’re here for you. Our information can help you understand the impact of racism – and choose how and where to seek help. If you’re finding it hard to get the support you need, our tips can help you find a way forward.

This page covers:
Choosing our words

There is no ‘one size fits all’ language for talking about race and identity.

Group labels bundle many identities and experiences together. This obscures the fact that people in these groups don’t all have the same experience of race. And we don’t all face the same challenges. Some terms (like ‘BAME’) can feel particularly crude, or unhelpful.

Our approach on this page is to:

  • Be specific wherever possible, and avoid acronyms
  • Use descriptions purposefully in appropriate contexts
  • Use terms that our research suggests are widely understood and acceptable to people affected by racism

But we know that language is constantly evolving. The words we choose matter, and must grow with us.

Help us do better: use the Was this page useful? feature at the bottom of this page to tell us what you think.

Talking about race and racism

Racism means using the concept of race to judge or treat some people worse than others. It exists in many forms, and on many levels in society – including in healthcare. It can include acts of discrimination and prejudice towards individuals and groups. It can also describe wider systems of oppression.

For those of us who are disadvantaged and harmed by racism, this can feel stressful and upsetting to explain to those who are not.

You shouldn’t have to.

But it can also feel validating and helpful to find new ways to define and describe our experiences.

Watch Samira, Faris, Ruth and Garrick talk about their experiences, and why these conversations matter:

At Mind, we are committed to becoming actively anti-racist in everything we do.

Learn about our anti-racism work