Decolonizing Mental Health: The Importance of an Oppression-Focused Mental Health System

A tired Asian mother on a computer as her children play in the background Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels

Focusing on mental health issues as personal problems to be treated and medicated often ignores the larger systems that impact our mental health. This article shares different ways to support individual and community mental health–particularly within BIPOC communities–in the face of white supremacy, racism, oppression, and colonization.

“Mullan emphasizes that decolonizing mental health is more than just doing research on cultural competence — the ability to understand and interact with people of different cultures. Instead, it’s recognizing that for many Black, Indigenous and Brown individuals, the trauma from oppression and colonization plays a major role in their state of mental health.”