Fear of assault is widespread among American minorities

PHOENIX – One in four Asian households in the United States say they fear physical attacks and threats because of their race, according to a recent survey by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard.

The survey, conducted from August 2 to September 7 as the variant of the delta coronavirus swept the country, showed that other minority households also reported fears for their safety. Additionally, households across the country said they were worried about finances and other stressors during the summer wave of COVID-19 infections.

The survey found that 21% of black households, 22% of Native Americans and 8% of Latino households report similar stressors and anxiety because of their race. The survey used a nationally representative sample of 3,616 adults 18 years of age or older and was released in October.

“In the field of psychology there is such a solid literature that we have done in our research team and with my colleague Dr Tahirah Abdullah and so many others who suggest that racism is, on the whole, linked mental health issues, depression, anxiety and stress, ”said Jessica LoPresti, co-founder of BARE Mental Health & Wellness. LoPresti, who is also a clinical psychologist at Suffolk University in Boston, focuses on promoting the resilience, health and well-being of people and communities of color.

According to the FBI, physical and verbal attacks against Asians, black Americans and other minorities have increased since the pandemic began in March 2020.

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“One of the biggest barriers that communities and people of color face is not necessarily just that black people do not have access to mental health care, it is that when we do, the care mental health issues are not culturally appropriate, ”LoPresti said. “People go into therapy and sort of sit across from someone and say, ‘You have no idea what I’m going through, how who I am is affecting my mental health, so how could you. I talk to you and find help in our type of relationship? ‘”

The NPR survey – which asked respondents about finances, health care, racial or ethnic discrimination, education, care, work and well-being – also found that 38% of U.S. households report having faced serious financial problems in recent months. This has a significant contribution to mental health issues, according to experts.

“Reducing socio-economic inequalities, that kind of awareness that there is a link with poverty, racism, how racism contributes to poverty, how poverty then contributes to mental health problems – it all gets entangled. “said Imelda Padilla-Fraustro, researcher at UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research. She focuses on the social determinants of inequities in these communities.

She and LoPresti have dedicated their time to studying the multi-level impacts of race on mental health and the barriers faced by underrepresented communities. Their research and the NPR study provide evidence that fear for your safety negatively affects mental health, and that poverty exacerbates all mental health problems.

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