Gerald Chambers, Marriage and Family Therapist, and Dr. Ronnie Siddique, Psychologist, address issues of mental health in different communities of color and race-related trauma.
Ronnie and Gerald talk about stigmas attached to getting treatment for mental health issues.
There are trust issues of the mental health and medical profession because of historical racist treatment by mental health professions.
Ronnie as a member of the South Asian community and Gerald from the African-American community say that too often they hear people say, “Suck it up. Deal with it yourself.”
Gerald says that in drug treatment research shows that the darker someone’s skin the more severe the diagnosis and the less likely to get effective treatment.
There has been a denial of racism as a factor in trauma and other mental health issues related to race and culture. Intake questionnaires need to include questions about race and cultural experiences.
Therapists need to be trained in cultural intelligent therapy and be able to understand how racism impacts people from early ages physically, mentally and emotionally.
While it’s crucial for therapists and the whole mental health profession to understand historical issues of race, oppression and trauma, the need for help is real. At the same time every mental health issue of a person of color is not necessarily due to racism.
Diversity and inclusion have to be part of the conversation and education of people in the mental health field.
Listen to this episode to hear Dr. Ronnie Siddique and Gerald Chambers break down the challenges, issues and solutions to provide access to mental health treatment for low income and people of color.
Gerald Chambers is a licensed marriage and family therapist who focuses on interpersonal conflict, domestic violence, substance abuse, and 12-Step recovery. He leads a 52-week domestic violence psycho-education group for court-mandated spousal batterers. and frequently speaks to lawyers, psychologists, social workers, as well as middle and elementary school children. Well known for his innovative strategies to reduce domestic violence, Gerald has been a guest speaker at the Boalt Hall School of Law, Golden Gate University, and various community-based organizations.
Contact info: Gerald B. Chambers, LMFT
Dr. Ronnie Siddique
Dr. Siddique is a licensed clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist who works with clients of
all ages representing a broad range of concerns, from ADHD and learning difficulties to depression and anxiety. She is the founders and owner of Embolden Psychology, her practice, with three locations in the Washington DC area. She specializes in community mental health and advocacy, clinical work and assessment, and writing and blogging about mental health.
For the past 18 years, she has run a weekly community mental health clinic in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. She is a consultant for Doctors Without Borders, the Suhki Project, and the Pro Bono Counseling Project, in Washington, DC.
In the summer of 2020, her book about anxiety and young people, Fight/Flight/Flow, will be released.
Contact info: Ronnie Siddique, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist/Neuropsychologist
Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC