NAMI Lansing recognizes the severe impact of racism and racial trauma on our members, friends, and community, and that racism is a public health crisis. Our mission is education, support, and advocacy for individuals and families affected by mental illness. Carrying out this mission encompasses pursuing an end to racism in the community and local institutions, addressing the mental health effects of racism, and promoting equity in mental health services. We affirm the statement of Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO of NAMI:
The effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real and cannot be ignored. The disparity in access to mental health care in communities of color cannot be ignored. The inequality and lack of cultural competency in mental health treatment cannot be ignored.
Our nation’s African American community is going through an extremely painful experience, pain that has been inflicted upon this community repeatedly throughout history and is magnified by mass media and repeated deaths. We stand with all the families, friends and communities who have lost loved ones senselessly due to racism. And, with more than 100,000 lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic - disproportionately from minority communities - these recent deaths add gasoline to the fire of injustice.
While there is much we need to do to address racism in our country, we must not forget the importance of mental health as we do so. Racism is a public health crisis.
As the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, it is our responsibility to serve all. While as an organization we are still early in our intentional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey and have much to do, we have renewed our commitment to our values. We continue to strive to deliver help and hope to all who need it.
NAMI stands in solidarity with everyone impacted across the country. You are not alone. (NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., May 29, 2020)