“Racism is associated with a host of psychological consequences, including depression, anxiety, and other serious, sometimes debilitating conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders. Moreover, the stress caused by racism can contribute to the development of cardiovascular and other physical diseases” (American Psychological Association, Sandra Shullman, 2020).
The Alaska Psychological Association condemns racism and recognizes racism as a psychological health and medical health emergency. We condemn the murders of Black people, Indigenous people, and all people of color at the hands of police officers. We stand with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless others who have died due to racial inequality and injustice.
These recent incidents highlight the over four hundred years of institutionalized and systemic racial injustice in the United States. Incidents like these wear on the mental, emotional, and physical health of those on the end of injustice. We have a responsibility to speak up and speak out to end inequality and discrimination in this country. Racism must be a part of our ongoing conversations and commitments to change. We must not be silent, as our silence is complicit, and our silence is not our power.
The Alaska Psychological Association is committed to justice and to speaking up in times of injustice. We believe that no one should have to feel fear, anxiety, or threatened because of skin color. We are committed to highlighting and celebrating diversity. We are committed to the fight to ensure that all citizens of our state have equal access to mental health and medical health care. We pledge to focus our efforts to be a part of the greater conversations about the impacts of racism on psychological and medical health. We pledge to be a part of the solution.
Alaska Psychological Association Board of Directors