‘Colouring the Mind: Racism and Mental Health’ is a new In Conversation mini-series that will explore how racism affects mental health, with a particular focus on racism in the mental health system and racism in the mental health concept.
In this episode, Malaika Okundi and Jessica O’Logbon focus on the concept of racism in mental health and discuss definitions of race, racism, and mental health as concepts.
Discussion points include:
- The definition of ‘race’.
- Racism, colourism, and the impact on mental health.
- Lived experience of the different levels of racism (internalised, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic).
- What defines mental health and what the link is between racism and mental health.
- The importance of lived experience researchers.
- Why representation matters in studies and in roles of influence.
Please note that what Malaika and Jess share in this series is derived from their work, as well as from research and literature surrounding these topics. Whilst they are not experts on racism or mental health, personal experience does play a role in their discussions.
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Malaika Okundi is an early career researcher working on the Transmission of experiences of Racism, Anxiety and Depression (TRADE) project, the Catalogue of Mental Health Measures and the Landscaping International Longitudinal Datasets (LILD) project. She recently completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Health and Social Medicine – Neuroscience at King’s College London. Malaika’s research interests are varied and include interspecies approaches to medicine, biotechnology and its effects on society, data science, longitudinal datasets and the mental health of minority groups. She is enjoying gaining research experience as she decides which of her many ideas to focus on for a PhD.
Jessica O’Logbon is a final year medical student at King’s College London who recently undertook a Master’s in Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge as an intercalated year. Jessica is passionate about raising awareness of health inequalities and methods to tackle them, which is how she became particularly interested in mental health. She was a founding member of the Black & Minority Ethnics in Psychology and Psychiatry (BiPP) Network and ran events to discuss men’s mental health, barriers to service use in BME communities and the effect of racism on mental health – the complex relationship between intersectionality and mental health is often overlooked.