A Mindful Approach to Managing Race-Based Stress

Evidence-Based Medicine


On October 27th, RUSM students will have the opportunity to attend a workshop that guides students through the process of managing race-based stress and enhancing purposefulness and self-awareness.


The RUSM Wellness and Counseling Center supports students by providing workshops centered around topics relevant to life in medical school. It takes an evidence-based approach to each workshop.


On October 27th, RUSM students will have the opportunity to attend a workshop that guides students through the process of managing race-based stress and enhancing purposefulness and self-awareness.


Race-based stress and clinical care

"... too many accounts from student trainees, colleagues, and professionals demonstrate a lack of awareness, knowledge, and the practical skills necessary to competently address racial trauma in mental health settings."

Race-based trauma and stress have been well documented in literature. Notably, Dr. Robert T. Carter's landmark paper published in 2007, 'Racism and psychological and emotional injury: Recognizing and assessing race-based traumatic stress' has been cited over 1000 times.(1) Yet, understanding and implementation of research in the field by healthcare professionals is slow to action.


Boston College's Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture released a 'Racial Trauma Toolkit' in 2015 in order to bring awareness to their initiative #racialtraumaisreal. In their manuscript, they address the need for awareness and scholarly discussion surrounding race-based stress, saying, "... too many accounts from student trainees, colleagues, and professionals demonstrate a lack of awareness, knowledge, and the practical skills necessary to competently address racial trauma in mental health settings."(2)


Their manuscript addresses actions that healthcare professionals can take by outlining five avenues through which professionals may better identify, cope and manage race-based stress: acknowledge, discuss, seek support, self care, and empowerment through resistance.


Learning from the Literature

Take a moment to read more on the topic of race-based stress by visiting the 'Racial Trauma Toolkit', checking out articles by Dr. Robert T. Carter, or by browsing PubMed's extensive library using the keywords 'race-based stress' and 'mindfulness'.


References

01. Carter RT. Racism and Psychological and Emotional Injury: Recognizing and Assessing Race-Based Traumatic Stress. The Counseling Psychologist. 2007;35(1):13-105. doi:10.1177/0011000006292033


02. Jernigan MM, Green CE, Perez-Gualdron L, Liu M, Henze KT, Chen C, [...], Helms JE. #racialtraumaisreal. Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture website. Published 2015. Accessed October 24, 2020. https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/lsoe/sites/isprc/racialtraumaisreal.pdf


Author

Kristin Ezell is a second year student at Ross University School of Medicine.

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Ross Academic Research Society is a student organization at the Ross University School of Medicine that promotes research and evidence-based medicine.

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