Mental Health and Holistic Supports

Mental Health and Holistic Supports Roots in Africa-Ireland (RIAINetwork) with provide mental health and holistic supports and referrals to people rooted in Africa and Ireland. In 2019, after a tragic death by suicide of a young person in our community due to racist bullying, we decided to come together and create a safe and brave space where people rooted in Africa can meet and create a community in the spirit of UBUNTU ( I am because you are) and support each other. It is also space where friends and families of people rooted in Africa and Ireland meet, gather and learn together.
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Living with systemic racism and social injustice is nothing new for people of African Descent living in Ireland. It is the primary factor that impacts Black mental wellness. In our darkest moments, some of us have been able to still find support in places like churches, despite the collective trauma of racism experienced on a daily basis. Additionally, family gatherings and community have been one of our strongest coping strategies for battling mental stress, and historically, one of the only things we ever really did have. Unfortunately, for some in our community, these supports are not available, leaving them more isolated. Our attitude has been no matter our difficult circumstance, we are able to get through it better together.

Although, data proves that migrants suffer 10x the rate of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder due to trauma, discrimination, and other identity-based factors and that people living in direct provision experience disproportionate rates of depression and psychosis, and that asylum seeker are 5x more likely to experience mental health issues and psychiatric conditions (INAR, 2021), they are reluctant to attend mental health support for various reasons such as:

  • Stigma associated with mental illness
  •  Distrust of the health care system
  •  Lack of providers from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds
  • Lack of culturally competent providers
  • Lack of health insurance, underinsurance
  • Negative therapy experiences.

The Black Mental Health Matter campaign by RIAINetwork will support Black mental health by holding various support networks that meet people where they are at. #RootedandUnited