Silence is Not an Option.
We feel the pain and anger provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery —and so many other black people in this country, and we vocally condemn these acts of police brutality and the systemic racism that supports them.
We are taking a stand NOW on important social issues like racism and injustice; we MUST use our voices to help drive change and support the path to healing. The crisis of systemic racism in the United States is something that demands action and attention from all of us. Silence is not an option.
As members of the mental health community, and as a part of an organization that is committed to a culture of respect, diversity and inclusiveness, we must foster change individually and collectively, both internally in our organization, with our patients, and externally with our communities.
A Call to Action.
Therapists and patients alike must engage in learning, discussions and actions that are not only against racism, but are actively anti-racist. It is essential that all mental health providers work to continuously address racism when we see it, speak out and educate ourselves, actively fight injustices, and expand our services to those who are systematically oppressed.
A Good Place to Start.
It is important to recognize that we all carry around varying amounts of biases within ourselves, in spite of our best intentions. Being willing to learn about our own biased attitudes will bring to light just how deeply ingrained and pervasive the problem is. The Implicit Association Test (IAT), which is easily accessible online, will undoubtedly identify things about yourself that both surprise and disturb you.
As a first step towards fighting racism, our company has issued a donation to Black Visions Collective which focuses on healing and transformative justice while highlighting programs that support black people experiencing youth homelessness, opioid dependency, and mental health issues. Being a NYC based outpatient treatment and training facility, we would also like to help garner attention to Black Lives Matter Greater NY as they are a wonderful local organization that believes in building community through civic engagement, education and mentorship. As a second step, we encourage all people to engage in at least one of the action items listed below:
– Read about racism and racial injustice with these books, articles and podcasts (https://rb.gy/7blane).
–Take the IAT as a family (https://bit.ly/2AH1g76) and then speak to your children about protests and racism (https://rb.gy/ipeptu). Explain how the right to protest is one of the cornerstones of the United States, cited in our constitution.
–Watch powerful documentaries exploring Black history and culture in America (https://rb.gy/kuospk).
–Donate and support critical organizations by donating to the Black Visions Collective (https://rb.gy/runabm), Black Lives Matter Greater NY (https://rb.gy/jb6yyt) and Reclaim the Block (https://rb.gy/ewse4o).
–Support Black-Owned businesses in New York (https://rb.gy/gh1jb3).
–Sign these petitions for George Floyd (https://bit.ly/2AGcGYM) Breonna Taylor (https://bit.ly/2z0uZYe) and Ahmaud Arbery (https://bit.ly/3gMy1QW).
– Demand action from your local representatives (https://rb.gy/kyqhs4) and make sure to tell everyone you know to get out and vote! Corrupt politicians are counting on you not to vote and will try to make it more difficult. Don’t let them win.
Our organization pledges to hold ourselves accountable and amplify the voices of people of color and other disadvantaged groups in our industry and beyond. Lives depend on it. Although the gravity of the injustice is immense, we believe in the power of community, the possibility that comes when we work together, and that love will always overcome hate. If you feel that there is anything that we can do better to help support this movement, we encourage you to share your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In love and solidarity,