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Discrimination and its Impacts on Mental Health

Posted on: Saturday, June 27th, 2020

The month of June has had some powerful and meaningful events including the continuation of the Black Lives Matter movement and the celebration of Pride among LGBTQ+ communities. Although these events are celebrating the lives of the people among these groups and working towards change, it is important to be aware and understand how discrimination can affect mental health for individuals, specifically for black Canadians and those associated with LGBTQ+ communities. 


Discrimination has many negative mental health effects on individuals. People who experience a form of discrimination may experience lower self-esteem which can lead to a diagnosis of a stress-related disorder such as depression or anxiety. Discrimination can occur in interpersonal and work-related situations, such as people wondering if they didn’t get a job due to their race or sexual orientation. This situation can worsen the mental health of individuals and lead to other issues for them such as unemployment. Individuals who face discrimination may experience a difference in their behaviour and heightened vigilance, which can stimulate stress responses. Sometimes the anticipation of discrimination happening can cause people to be very stressed and experience a decline in their mental health. 


It is important for everyone to be aware of their biases and educate themselves on the reality of discrimination in society and its effects on individuals and their mental health. Creating a safe space to talk about these difficult topics and listening to peoples’ different stories on discrimination can not only help gain a better understanding but also work towards change in society. 


If you are struggling with your mental health or want to express your experiences with someone, give us a call at 403-619-8558. This is where positive change can start…

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