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International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Thu, 21 - March - 2024

International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination


Northern Ireland in 2024 is a substantially more diverse place than it has been historically. Despite this, we still have a long way to go to ensure that our black, minority ethnic, and migrant communities feel safe and welcome.

Alarmingly a report from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland last year found that racism is now a ‘daily fact of life in Northern Ireland’.

Evidence has shown that racial discrimination can have a profound and lasting impact on the mental health of a person, often leading to racial trauma. Some experts use a race-based traumatic stress injury model to describe symptoms including anger and depression, hypervigilance, intrusive thoughts, avoidance, and low self-esteem.

Black, minority ethnic, and migrant people may also experience specific traumatic impacts based on how their communities have been dehumanised and marginalised over time. Vicarious trauma, historical trauma/loss, and intergenerational trauma can lead to poor mental health being cascaded to people who haven’t directly encountered racial discrimination.

MindWise is committed to developing its trauma-informed practice, and part of this will be to ensure that we are anti-racist. This means that we will proactively engage with and advocate on behalf of minority ethnic and migrant communities while challenging and calling out racism and inequality where we encounter it.

Moving forward, through our partnership with Mental Health UK, MindWise will begin to more fully investigate how we can meet the needs of black, minority ethnic, and migrant communities in Northern Ireland. This will be done by engaging in meaningful co-production, thereby ensuring that the voices of those who are impacted by racial discrimination are central to how we engage with black, minority ethnic and migrant communities in Northern Ireland in the future.


If you have encountered racial discrimination you can contact the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland at 02890 500600 You can also contact the North West Migrants Forum via telephone or WhatsApp (info in link)

If you need to talk to somebody about the impact of racial discrimination on your mental health you can contact our friends at Counselling All Nations on 07596139247

Further reading and resources: Our colleagues at Rethink Mental Illness have today published their Anti-Racism Progress Report. This is a hugely welcome document and outlines the progressive strides that have been made in creating an equitable workplace and service provider for people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Mind – Racism and mental health

Mental Health Foundation – Racism and mental health

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