STRESS IN AMERICA: Impact of Discrimination on Mental Health

June 22, 2016

A wealth of psychological research shows that discrimination
can exacerbate stress. Moreover, discrimination-related stress is
linked to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression,
even in children.1,2 In this year’s examination of the state of
Stress in America™, the American Psychological Association (APA)
highlights the connection between discrimination and stress,
along with the resulting impacts on relationships, employment
and overall health.
Experiencing Discrimination in America
Nearly seven in 10 adults in the U.S. (69 percent) report having experienced
any discrimination, with 61 percent reporting experiencing day-to-day
discrimination, such as being treated with less courtesy or respect, receiving
poorer service than others, and being threatened or harassed. Within this
report, discrimination is reported across subgroups of adults, including age,
race or ethnicity,3 disability, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.
For example, adults with a disability are twice as likely as adults without a
disability to say that their life has been harder (a lot or some) because of
discrimination and that discrimination has interfered with them being able to
live a full and productive life (for both references: 19 percent of adults with a
disability vs. 9 percent of adults without a disability).4 For all groups surveyed,
the most commonly reported experiences of major discrimination relate to
Almost half of all adults (47 percent) report experiencing major forms of
discrimination, which include police unfairly stopping, searching, questioning,
physically threatening or abusing them; neighbors making life difficult for
them or their family upon moving into a neighborhood; a teacher or advisor
discouraging them from continuing their education; or experiencing unfair
treatment when receiving health care

The good news is that the Pro Bono Counseling is free and available by Googling that site. You may also call our office for other agencies offering pro-bono mental health counseling.

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