The Effects of Stress on Minority Health

March 15, 2022

Individuals belonging to racial/ethnic minority groups are likely to undergo high levels of stress caused by discrimination, racism and systemic injustice. Studies show that these high stress levels can lead to long-term mental and physical health issues.

Common stressors caused by the effects of discrimination, racism, and systemic injustice may include violent trauma, criminal victimization, financial turmoil, relationship stress, or neighborhood conditions. Individuals may begin to feel devalued and inferior, directly correlating to high stress and low self-esteem.

Discrimination has only recently been recognized as a legitimate factor that directly correlates to chronic stress levels. Evidence suggests that racial discrimination affects health because of its prevalence in society, witnessed in day-to-day life and within social institutions.

For those experiencing cultural stressors, prejudice and discrimination, it is possible to develop serious health concerns including depression, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

There are several available options to help reduce the impact of racial stress. If your mental or physical health is suffering because of any of the stressors listed, reach out for help..

Contact your health care provider for more information on how to combat high levels of stress and make your health a priority. Organizations like Prairie View are equipped to care for you and your mental health concerns.

If stress is causing you or a loved one to suffer mentally and/or physically, the 24-hour Prairie View mental health crisis line (800-362-0180) is always available to help.