The work is to crumble the barriers of injustice and shame leveled against us so that we might access what we have always been, because we will, if unobstructed, inevitably grow into the purpose for which we were created: our own unique version of that oak tree.

Welcome

The impact of systemic and individual racism and discrimination runs deep. Now, those most impacted are experiencing a double pandemic: Ongoing racism, injustice, and violence plus the disproportional effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. ECAPS is here to support students as they work on personal and societal levels to address the traumatic impacts of racism, oppression, and injustice. If you are a student and experiencing distress related to the ongoing violence toward Black-identified individuals or the impact of resulting protests and unrest, ECAPS staff members are here for you. We are ready to listen to you, support you, talk about self-care options for coping with racial trauma, and help you identify healing spaces. Taking care of your emotional and physical well-being is critical at this time.

Should you want to make an appointment, please see additional information on this page or call 617-824-8595. Students wanting to connect with other students who share similar identities may want to reach out to Intercultural Student Affairs and the Social Justice Center, both of which are working with student groups to create spaces for processing and support. The Center for Spiritual Life is another campus resource available to students seeking spiritual support.

ECAPS is committed to providing support and lifting the voices of those impacted by structural racism and violence. You are not alone.

Common Challenges for SOC

College years often present significant challenges and many folx notice mental health issues arising at this time. In addition to the challenges that come up during this period of life, students of color specifically may also struggle with:

  • Experiences of discrimination, racism, or xenophobia
  • Racial trauma
  • The Model Minority Myth stereotype
  • The Strong Black Woman stereotype
  • Masculinity/machismo stereotypes
  • Intersectional stress and/or code-switching
  • Lack of community acceptance of gender or sexual identity
  • Acculturative stress
  • Intergenerational family conflict
  • The current sociopolitical climate of the U.S.
  • Intergenerational trauma (transmission of trauma through historical familial experiences such as slavery, the
  • Holocaust, or interpersonal violence)
  • Imposter syndrome (feelings of inadequacy despite success)
  • Immigration/Documentation status
  • Feeling “tokenized”
  • Lack of a community of color

Barriers to Accessing Care

There may be many barriers to seeking mental health support for people of color. Barriers at Emerson may include experiences with systemic oppression, discrimination, and microaggressions within the Emerson community, as well as historic oppression and mistreatment within the mental health field. Other barriers you may notice:

  • Mental health issues seen as weakness
  • Community, family, or individual stigma against treatment
  • Self-reliance (perception that you should manage problems on your own)
  • Lack of providers of Color
  • Lack of understanding of mental health issues
  • Inability to access treatment in your primary language
  • Guilt and shame
  • Psychological pain experienced as physical symptoms
  • Preference for natural medication or home/spiritual/tribal remedies
  • Fear of being a burden
  • Importance placed on privacy/not sharing private information with those outside your family or community
  • Importance of religion/spiritual beliefs
  • Perception that seeking help means you are not respecting own religious practices
  • Fear of being forced to take medication
  • Perception that clinicians will not understand experiences or validate discrimination
  • Distrust of authority from experiencing systemic bias

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

Self-Care Suggestions

During this time of dual pandemics, it is more important than ever to engage in caring for yourself. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Find a community of peers of color and/or allies who can discuss racial issues
  • Find a religious community or speak with a religious leader
  • Engage in your personal self-care activities
  • Nourish yourself with comforting and healthy foods
  • Get adequate sleep, give yourself permission to rest
  • Find ways to exert physical energy
  • Leisure activities
  • Engage in activism/social justice work
  • Give yourself a break
  • Say “no”
  • Get outside
  • Avoid relying on substances to escape
  • Mindfulness/meditation/breathing exercises
  • Journaling
  • Spend time with friends
  • Reflect upon your strengths/practice affirmations
  • Find ways to honor/celebrate your identities
  • Limit exposure to news/social media
  • Seek out media that represents you
  • Find a safe space to explore your racial identity
  • Create a self-care plan for times of intense distress or exposure to discrimination
  • Be gentle with yourself

Things to Know About Coming to ECAPS

  • Counseling services are available at Emerson Counseling and Psychological Services.
    • Services are free and confidential.
  • You can ask for a provider of a particular identity.
    • If this is not available, you can receive support finding a provider with the identity/identities you prefer.
  • You can receive support connecting to providers that can conduct therapy in your primary language.
  • You can ask to have spiritual/religious beliefs/practices incorporated into treatment.
  • You can use natural/spiritual remedies/supports AND engage in counseling.
  • Everyone needs help sometimes. It does NOT suggest weakness.

Resources

Online Therapist Directories

  • The Shrink Space has a directory for low-cost therapy options listed by state. Please note that the clinicians may not have current availability but we encourage you to contact them to check.
  • Therapy for Black Girls: An online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. It also has a directory of therapists so you can get connected to a clinician.
  • Therapy for Black Men: An online directory to help men of color in their search for a therapist.
  • National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network:  A healing justice organization committed to transforming mental health for queer and trans people of color (QTPoC).
  • InnoPsych.com: A therapist of color directory and resources to boost your wellness journey with content written by and for people of color.
  • Inclusive Therapists: Inclusive Therapists offers a safer, simpler way to find a culturally responsive, social justice-oriented therapist. We center the needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, the LGBTQIA2S+ community, people with disabilities, and we honor the full neurodiversity spectrum. We are a mental health justice movement pursuing equity and liberation through advocacy and activism.
  • Caribbean Therapists: An online therapist directory designed to connect Caribbean nationals to Caribbean Therapists. Please note this site doesn’t currently have any MA listings but may be updated soon!
  • Therapy for Muslims: The hope is that anyone searching for a Muslim mental health practitioner in their area, information on mental wellness from an Islamic lens, or a list of pertinent resources, can turn to this website as a resource.
  • Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Therapist Directory: Virtual directory of APIDA mental health providers.
  • Latinx Therapy: A virtual directory of mental health providers for Latinx community.
  • Therapy Den: A virtual directory of  progressive mental health providers where you can easily search by identity.
  • 简单心理: Information and directory of therapists. Headquartered in Beijing with therapists throughout mainland China.

Online Communities

  • YBMen Project: Private social media group for young men of Color
  • Rest for Resistance: Mental health healing space for Queer People of Color
  • BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective): Resources, toolkits, and directory
  • Ourselves Black: Community with the goal to share imagery and tell stories infused with knowledge that promotes Black mental health.
  • Visibility Project: Seek to document the personal experiences of the Queer Asian Pacific American women and transgender community by interweaving visual art, personal narratives, and social justice onto an accessible online platform.
  • Therapy Alternative: Dr. Marshuan Glover is offering an anonymous virtual group as an alternative therapy for folx seeking a black therapist. 

Boston and National Resources

Phone/Text Support

Apps

  • The Safe Place: A Minority Mental Health App geared towards the Black Community.
  • Liberate: Meditation app by and for the Black, Indigenous & People of Color community
  • Shine: Self-Care app for rest, healing, and growth through difficulty.
  • Minds of the Culture: Created and designed by therapist, Dr. Chanda Reynolds, as a tool to help the black community cope with mental health.

Podcasts

  • Between Sessions: Two brown chicks changing the face of therapy on both sides of the couch.
  • Man Up: Masculinity, race, and relationships in the modern world.
  • Irresistible: Celebrate the many traditions of movement leaders, cultural workers, and spiritual teachers who remind us to embody the liberation we are pursuing.
  • Coffee with Karim: Muslim podcast that discusses Islamic psychology, Muslim relationships and practical Islamic spirituality.
  • MaanMukti - Stories of Stigma: South Asian Mental Health
  • Nopal Kweenz: Three Latina Therapists unpacking mental health issues in our community one episode at a time.
  • Erasing Shame: Podcast about shame and mental health in the Asian American community
  • Reverse Assimilation - Reimagine the System: A podcast examining the long, uncomfortable process of six Mexican-Americans shedding Anglo systems.

AAPI Support and Resources

As you may have seen on the news, heard from friends or family members, or experienced yourself, harassment and hate crimes towards Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have risen markedly during the COVID-19 crisis. Since the start of COVID-19’s spread in the US, this rise in racially-motivated harassment and assaults has been reflected on US college campuses and toward international Asian students and APIDA (Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American) students. In Boston and LA, anti-Asian hate crimes more than doubled from 2019 to 2020. 

Anti-Asian and Pacific Islander harassment and hate are part of a long history of racism and xenophobia in the United States, but such behavior is not in line with the core values of Emerson College. ECAPS re-commits to supporting its Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities in the wake of this wave of hate. We denounce any xenophobic acts and the racist ideology that creates a traumatizing and unwelcoming environment for students, faculty, and staff.