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The mental health impact of workplace discrimination

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2021 | Workplace Discrimination

Most people in Rhode Island understand just how important it is to have good mental health. Unfortunately, certain factors that affect mental health are often outside people’s control. For example, workplace discrimination has a profoundly negative impact on victims, especially those in marginalized groups.

Racism in the workplace

Although racial discrimination is illegal in the workplace, it is still a rampant problem. Black, Indigenous and other workers of color are disproportionately affected by work stressors and inappropriate behaviors that are centered on their racial identities. These stressors can contribute to poor mental health, which in turn affects most other aspects of victims’ lives.

Unfortunately, people of color are less likely to find mental health support or receive a diagnosis for a mental health condition when compared with their white peers. This is especially unfortunate since racial discrimination in the workplace can negatively affect a person’s mental and physical health, and the psychological effects can be long-lasting. People of color also struggle with the stigma of mental health within their communities, including strongly held beliefs that mental health conditions are:

  • Dangerous
  • Caused by insufficient faith
  • An excuse for one’s behavior
  • Private and not up for discussion

Even when victims are ready to get help they are often surprised at the cost. Because of this, holding Rhode Island employers responsible for discriminatory actions can be an important step in the recovery process for victims. A successfully navigated workplace discrimination suit can help secure essential compensation for things like mental health services, lost wages and even emotional trauma.