We are in this together! You are not alone!
On behalf of the NAMI Mass Board of Directors and Executive Director, we feel we would be remiss not to voice our passion for social justice and how appalled we are at the murder of George Floyd in the Powderhorn community of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is indeed a time of reflection. We understand the death of yet another Black male by police officers has had an especially devastating impact on those in the Black community. NAMI Mass is appalled by the treatment of Blacks in America. We denounce all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias.
Here at NAMI Mass, we are committed to equality, justice, and enhancing the well-being and mental health of all members, staff, and by extension, the community. We are particularly committed to being a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem when it comes to racial injustices and inequities. We mourn the overtly racist murders of so many Black people. From our mouths and from our hearts, we say the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others killed not only through violence but also through the centuries of institutionalized racism and structural inequities embedded in this country.
Particularly to our members who are Black, we join with you in protesting the violence, racism, brutality, and discrimination that you experience daily. We stand with you and others in denouncing the brutality and violence that you experience at the hands of some law enforcement personnel and the criminal justice system. We know that racism has a direct impact on not only your financial and physical health but also your mental health. As a mental health advocacy organization, we must act now to end violence, discrimination, and stigma against Black people because your mental health depends on it! It is not only the right and the compassionate thing to do, but it is also essential to our mission of promoting mental health and well-being through advocacy, education, and support – for all.
Though we work with many police departments committed to providing Crisis Intervention Training and other programming, we must also issue a call to action. The police who perpetuate this kind of violence must be held accountable. We cannot and will not wait any longer! We will continue to advocate for mental health reform and criminal justice reform. We will work with our law enforcement partners to help educate and bring awareness to issues specific to the Black community and other people of color.
As promoters of mental health and mental health policy reform, we will continue to deepen our understanding of the compounding impacts that racism, structural inequality, discrimination, and violence have on the well-being and mental health of our communities. We will promote accountability and an end to violence by law enforcement and criminal justice systems. We commit to embedding racial and social justice in our work, advocacy, and our organization’s programs, policies, and culture.
Thank you for entrusting us with your mental health advocacy. Know that NAMI Mass will not ignore injustice, inequity, or inequality in any form. Finally, we would also like to assure you that we are aware of the overwhelming and disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has on Black and Brown communities. The current racial climate, combined with the many effects of COVID-19, makes the Black community more vulnerable to mental health crises. As such, we want you to know that we are here to listen. Please contact us with any concerns or challenges.
We value every member and every community. You matter to NAMI Mass! Your life matters! Your voice matters!