New report a stark reminder of how racism is damaging Victorians’ mental and physical health Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health CEO warns.
Chief Executive officer of the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, Demos Krouskos spoke today in reaction to the release of the report Racism in Victoria and what it means for the health of Victorians. The report was released on March 17 by The Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services.
“I’d like to commend the government for releasing this report” He said today “It highlights through research what we already know anecdotally. Namely that racism hugely contributes negatively to Victorian adult’s mental and physical health.”
The report argues that to improve Victorians’ health, racism has to be acknowledged and tackled. It outlines alarming research showing that Victorian adults who experience racism weekly are almost five times as likely as those who do not experience racism to have poor mental health and are 2.5 times more likely to have poor physical health.
“With one in five adult Victorians experiencing racism, this report is a blunt reminder of some of the serious consequences of these experiences” he said. “We call on all health services to recognise this and support the government in its recommendations in tackling racism. This is a clear step to improve health outcomes for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.”
Racism affects Victorians both indirectly and directly the report argues. The report argues racism has a direct effect as it acts as a chronic stressor, causes cognitive and emotional responses, and causes physical injury. The report also outlines that Aboriginal Victorians and Victorians who are not originally from Northern Europe or North America (and speak a language other than English) are more likely to experience racism.
“Racism is something that needs to be stood up to for a number of reasons. This report demonstrates clear damage done to Victorians who experience racism and we forcefully agree with the response that this needs to be recognised as a first step.” Demos said.
“We call on the government to allocate more resources for multicultural mental health services and look at implementing a more integrated model of care.”
The report’s release is timely as it supports the Victorian Government’s new Multicultural Policy Statement: Victorian. And proud of it and validates the recent rejection of changes to the Racial Discrimination Act in the Senate of the Federal Government.
The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health works with communities and health practitioners to improve health outcomes for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
For further comment or interview please contact Matt Loads on 0403011174
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