Talking racism and mental health in schools.

  • This UK-based podcast in five parts answers the following questions:
    • How does experiencing racism impact young people’s mental health and self- esteem?
    • What does it mean to be an anti-racist school?
    • What are some practical steps schools can take to become anti-racist?

Listen in here.

Journal Prompts

  • Here are reflective questions for each of the 5 parts of the racism and mental health podcast
  • In the introductory episode, Stuart shares that experiencing racism has a layering effect on young people, creating a traumatic experience. The trauma from racism is rarely discussed, which creates an additional sense of separation and difference. What solution did you hear that you think you could use to address and mitigate some of the traumatic effects in your school: involving parents, making anti-racism part of the curriculum, discussing racism’s effects in a mentoring space, bringing in a speaker, or teaching students to use the 5 Whys?
  • What are the benefits of involving the whole community in becoming anti-racist? Are there any pitfalls? What methods for involving the community make sense for your school? Which one will you share with someone you know not in the education field?
  • While racism can negatively affect a student’s self-esteem, learning about racism can help them separate the ugly words and acts of racism from who they are as a person, helping to preserve their self-esteem. This episode suggests a zero-tolerance approach to banter (jokes) that include racist comments. Do you think this is possible in your school? Does your school have a similar policy?
  • Eve Doran states that a lack of representation can have a negative impact on students’ well-being and that “it is very draining to be engaging with a curriculum in which you don’t see yourself represented.” This can feed into their sense of belonging and connectedness to school. What has your school done to assess your curriculum for representation? How do you grade your students? Do you bring back ex-students to talk about their experiences? Have you met with other schools who are working to be anti-racist? Do you talk to your students to hear what their thoughts are?
  • What issues do Black British students face? Are they much different than what Black American students face, in your experience? What resources does your school have to help Black students feel a sense of belonging? If you don’t have many resources, where can you look for them/tools for a happy and productive life?
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