DIVERSITY AND MENTAL HEALTH
Morais L. Cassell, PhD, NCC, MA, MS
Behavioral Health Specialist/Therapist
Goal: Intentional efforts to ensure that all people, regardless of age, background, belief, color, culture, gender, race, or preference, are seen, heard, valued, and mourned with.
"The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth"- African Proverb
Your Life Matters
Your Mental Health Matters
We Have Your Back
The Culture and Language of Diversity: Awareness and Empathy
Awareness + Empathy = Change & Pathways to Healing
Awareness leads to empathy
Empathy leads to listening differently
Listening differently leads to rewiring the brain of toxic thought patterns
“Empathy is getting down in the dark place with someone who is suffering and showing them that they are not alone. You don’t need to provide a solution or answers. Your presence is enough in the moment. Think about what you would want if you were in that person’s place” - Dr. Caroline Leaf.
Empathy is listening to what the person says and repeating back what you heard said, not what you think you heard said.
Diversity Framework – Morais L. Cassell, PhD, NCC, MA, MS
Has less to do with color, culture, background, beliefs, or gender, preference, and more to do with diversity of thought.
Is not ignoring color but rather intentionally seeing color and celebrating our differences without being divided.
Is looking for opportunities to build bridges and creating circles that shut people in and not shut them out.
Like therapy, it is not ignoring the past but rather focusing on the here and now, changing the scripts/narratives and creating new stories and new versions of ourselves.
Diversity is affirming where we align and respecting our differences.
Is understanding that I don't have to agree with you to love you unconditionally.
Understands that we all cannot be the same, otherwise there would be no need for the other. The moment we want sameness, we will always choose us over the other.
Is not expanding some while reducing others.
A Biological-Psychological-Social-Spiritual Framework
Biologically – If I say I support breast cancer awareness, I am not saying I don't support other forms of cancer awareness.
Psychologically – If I say I support mental health, it does not mean I only support mental illness interventions, I also support mental wellness.
Socially – If I say, "black lives matter" or “blue lives matter”, I am not saying other lives don't matter.
Spiritually – When Jesus said, "blessed are the poor", He was not saying the rich are not blessed.