We’ve been deeply affected by the protests and violence that have occurred in California and across the US over the course of the past week. Many peaceful protesters have raised their voices to advocate for a just society — a place where no one’s life is at increased risk due to racism or discrimination.
We have witnessed the tragic health and economic impact to Black Americans from COVID-19, and also watched with horror and sadness the unjust and tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black lives for far too long.
The systemic racism, injustice and disparate treatment that has been inflicted on Black Americans very clearly demonstrate how far our country and our society must go in order for freedom — real freedom — to exist for all people.
Our country is in crisis. Staying silent is not the answer. If we ignore it, nothing will change, and we are no better than the racism we condemn. We know saying “we hear you” or “we’ll do better” is not enough.
Candidly, we have struggled on how to appropriately communicate our support in a meaningful way to the Black community. To stay silent on this issue, however — particularly for a mental health company — does not align with our core values – especially ‘Trust and Be Trustworthy’ and ‘Be Better, Together’.
We strive every day to provide a safe, caring and compassionate place to work and to ensure exceptional mental health care, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious belief. Community Psychiatry is grounded in the belief that everyone deserves to be heard — and in the mental wellness that being heard can provide.
Doing inclusion work for those of us who come from a place of privilege means actively listening to and hearing everyone who doesn’t. We are actively asking and listening to our Black team members for their feedback on what we can do better. We are actively listening to the Black community on how we can show up for them and help. We also need to self-educate to be better members of our communities and reflect on how our actions show who we are every day.
We stand with our Black team members, patients, colleagues, partners, and their allies in outrage at acts of racism and violence. We are listening and we will act. In the coming days and weeks, we will share additional actions we plan to take.
Black Lives Matter.