Mental Health Disparities in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Communities



Full course description

On May 14, 2018, a Richmond, VA, police officer shot and killed Marcus-David Peters, an African American man. Peters was unarmed and in the midst of a mental health crisis when he was pulled over. During the traffic stop, he stopped and got out of his car naked and in distress. He was hit by a car but got up and advanced toward the officer, who tasered him several times. The officer then fatally shot Peters. The entire encounter lasted only 76 seconds. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that mental health is “more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.” It is a state of well-being that enables people to cope with everyday stressors. Mental health affects how people think, act, and feel and their ability to make healthy choices. To promote, effectively address, and prevent the criminalization of historically marginalized communities, this module presents historical and contemporary reasons why people from historically marginalized groups experience poorer quality mental health care and worse outcomes in mental health crises, as well as how mental health is disproportionately stigmatized and criminalized in BIPOC communities. 

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