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September 1, 2021

Applying Anti-racism to Clinical Care and Research

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Department of Psychology, City University of New York, College of Staten Island, Staten Island
  • 3School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 4Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Psychiatry. 2021;78(11):1187-1188. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.2329

The highly publicized murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd raised awareness of the insidious ways racism continues to manifest. This led to increased support of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and globally. The American Psychiatric Association formally apologized for its support of structural racism and called for the application of anti-racism framework in clinical research and practice.1 Although anti-racism requires a multilevel approach, a key component of this work is acknowledging the existence of racism and understanding how racism developed and evolved in the US and its ongoing manifestations within psychiatry. We provide a brief overview of the history of racism and its impact on the mental health field and suggest steps for engaging in anti-racism work through developing awareness of racial prejudices.

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