Here at Brighton Therapy Partnership we felt heartbroken by the murder of George Floyd in America. We understand, and feel, the anger at how this happened to yet another black person. There needs to be justice and there needs to be change.
We have a racism problem in the UK too. Black people are twice as likely to die in police custody. Black mothers are five times more likely to die during childbirth. Microaggressions, explicit verbal and physical aggression and systemic barriers are experienced by black people. Within mental health, there is a huge disparity in how black people are listened to and supported. We also know that counselling is a predominantly white profession.
As therapists we care about clients’ wellbeing and mental health, and ensuring inclusion for all clients. Because of this we need to actively be anti-racist. This starts with informing ourselves where we may have blind spots – learning what it’s like to live with racism, the history of racism in our societies and acknowledging our white privilege, if we are white, and the unconscious biases we hold. We can go on this anti-racism journey together, learning and connecting as we have these challenging conversations with curiosity, patience and compassion.
We wanted to use our platform to share some resources to help you with that process of learning, and unlearning. Please share this post with your colleagues. Have the difficult conversations. Listen to those so graciously sharing their experiences. Let’s know better and do better.
Anti-racism resource lists
The following are free-to-access resources providing information and guidance on how you can help. What’s more, some of these are being hosted on Google Documents which means they’re continuously being updated.
- Google Document of Resources to aid Anti-Racism (in the UK especially) including petitions, organisations, books etc.
- The BACP have collated a list of resources (videos, articles and guidance documents) on Working with Race & Diversity. Some of these are accessible for anyone while others require a BACP login.
- Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility’s list of Resources for Examining Whiteness and Racism are available for free on an ongoing basis.
- A comprehensive list of anti-racism resources (books, film, podcasts etc) collated by Shaa Wasmund.
- Aashna’s extensive “Let’s Get Uncomfortable” resource list on race and inclusion.
Online events and training
- The Institute of Psychoanalysis’ The Political Mind Seminars explore the role of the unconscious in political and social life, in areas such as racism, gender and sexuality.
Organisations to support
From the UK to internationally, here are some of the most important projects and charities that you can lend your support to. Always remember that if you’re not in a position to financially offer support, there are many other ways, such as sharing information.
- 10 Anti-Racism Charities in the UK you can donate to
- Twitter thread of UK-based charities, organisations and platforms whose work aims to eradicate racial injustice
- Black Minds Matter
Black Minds Matter connect Black individuals and families with FREE professional mental health resources and support in the UK. You can donate to their funds for free therapy and follow their Twitter page.
- The Black, Asian and African Therapy Network [BAATN]
The BAATN are the “UK’s largest independent organisation to specialise in working psychologically, informed by an understanding of intersectionality, with people who identify as Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean.” One of their primary aims is to “address the inequality of access to appropriate psychological services for Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean people”. As well as their varied memberships there is also the option to become a Friend of BAATN.
Aashna focus on nurturing and facilitating inclusion within the therapeutic field. Their Let’s Get Uncomfortable project has provided a safe space for discussion and learning and an extensive resource list. You can donate to support their work and follow their Twitter page.
- Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (PCSR)
PCSR are a not-for-profit membership organisation, bringing together therapists who “locate counselling and psychotherapy in a social, political, ecological, and economic context”.
Some very powerful reads that explore both the history of white supremacy and the grip it holds on us today.
- Overcoming Everyday Racism – Susan Cousins
Therapist Susan Cousins explores race based discrimination in this book which would be a great one to recommend to clients, but is also vital for therapists to understand the impact of racism on clients’ wellbeing and mental health.
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni-Eddo Lodge
Reni’s book has topped charts and won awards for its deep exploration into Black British history, the history of racism within the UK and the systemic racism that remains.
- Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World – Layla F Saad
What makes this book different is the workbook format, with sections to be completed on your own relationship with race and privilege. This book isn’t about sitting back and learning, it’s about truly engaging – leaning into your own experiences and biases to move you toward change. As well as the interactive elements this is also a memoir and an education.
- When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir – Asha Bandele and Patrisse Cullors
This deeply personal and moving memoir by the founder of Black Lives Matter gives real insight into why this movement started, and what it’s like to grow up being seen as a predator and a criminal for the colour of your skin.
A selection of podcasts and interviews with Black therapists and activists.
- Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility’s podcast interview with Dr Dwight Turner – a Brighton based Psychotherapist, Senior Lecturer and Researcher. “In this podcast he speaks about being a Black man and a Black therapist; of racism being a problem of Whiteness rather than a Black problem; and the legacy of centuries of racism that remains largely unaddressed within our professions”.
- The BAATN’s [Black, African and Asian Therapy Network] podcast series “for anyone who is interested in the psychological impact of race on people of colour from a UK Perspective. They feature prominent Black, African and Asian therapists and allies sharing their thinking and psychological concepts.”
- Acclaimed writer Reni Eddo-Lodge’s About Race series features “key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism… [and] looks at the recent history that lead to the politics of today.
- Darryll Edwards’ interview “Why Black Lives Matter” on Dr Chatterjee’s Feel Better Live More podcast on systemic racism and his own experiences.
- Brene Brown interviews Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist.
Powerful documentaries and dramas exploring racial inequality in both the UK and the US.
- Sitting in Limbo [BBC]
A powerful one-off drama exploring the impact of the Windrush scandal on one man and his family.
- 13 [Netflix]
This Oscar-nominated documentary “explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans”.
- When They See Us [Netflix]
A four-part drama telling the real-life story of five young men who were falsely accused and charged with the rape of a woman in Central Park. There is also an accompanying interview on Netflix with the real men featured in the series – When They See Us Now.
These YouTube videos are all free to watch. Hear from some of the most prominent activists and authors.
- Music artist, author and activist Akala at the Edinburgh Book Festival, discussing his book Natives and his life experiences impacted by his race and class.
- Author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race Reni Eddo-Lodge on race, social injustice and quotas
- Author Dr. Robin DiAngelo discusses ‘White Fragility’ – looking at why it’s hard for white people to talk about race, and how they can develop their capacity to engage on the topic.
- A Conversation on Race and Privilege with Angela Davis and Jane Elliott, two leaders in the conversation around racial justice.
- Phillip J. Roundtree’s TED Talk Black Mental Health Matters, sharing his journey of trauma, resilience, and advocacy.
A few powerful Instagram posts we’ve seen in recent weeks. You can see these regardless of whether you’re on Instagram, but if you use the platform please consider sharing.
- The Impact of Racism on Mental Health
- Racial gaslighting sounds like…
- Becoming Anti-Racist
- Examples of UK Racism
- George Floyd: How Can I help from the UK
- For My Non-Black Friends: What To Do Now
- How to Sustainably Support the Black Community
- A template of responses to racist comments
- Black lives that the justice system has failed
- Racism and UK police in numbers
A series of articles, from both academic and mainstream media sources, exploring racism and mental health.
- This Is How To Support Black British People Right Now – And How Not To by Timi Sotire
- What White Mental Health Professionals Need to Understand About Whiteness: A Delphi Study by Timothy Baima and Michael E. Sude
- Fight the power: A heuristic exploration of systemic racism through dreams by Dr Dwight Turner
- Structural Racism: A call to action in the NHS by Saiqa Naz
- Why race matters when it comes to mental health by Lola Jaye
- I thought I was an antiracist therapist. Then I looked more closely by Lori Gottlieb
We are always looking to expand our knowledge, so please share further anti-racism resources in the comments below too.