Our Struggles are Intertwined: Intersections of Mental Health & Oppression
Free course through end of June
This class is for anyone interested in an intersectional analysis and holistic approach to healing. It is self-paced, led by people of color and takes about 2-hours to complete and free for the month of June. Mental health and systemic oppression are deeply intertwined. From the pain of oppression being erased or made invisible due to the subjective nature of psychiatric diagnosis, to the significantly higher rates at which people of color are diagnosed with “serious mental illness,” to the subjective definition of psychological trauma, which still fails to include individual, collective, and generational trauma stemming from racism and institutionalized oppression.
The beginnings of the mad movement drew inspiration from other liberation movements of the time period, including the civil rights, women’s liberation, gay rights, and disabiltiy rights movements. Today, mental health activism is taking an increasingly intersectional approach, considering all points of oppression and a range of identities. In order to bring about real and lasting change in the system, this approach is crucial to integrate in training, research, clinical practice, and otherwise.
This class is for anyone interested in an intersectional analysis and holistic approach to healing.
It provides a historical analysis of how systems of oppression have impacted marginalized groups’ interactions with the mental health system. We begin by locating our identities and assumptions, then go on to contextualize the history of oppression and racism within the mental health system. We review a few of the ways that systemic oppression shows up in the system today, including the mental health disparities of BIPOC, the subjective nature of diagnosis, and oppression as an illness itself that is rarely seen as such. We close by invoking the peer movement as one place to seek liberation.