Manitoba Psychological Society Position on Racism and Discrimination

The Manitoba Psychological Society rests on foundational principles of anti-discrimination and respect for the dignity of persons. These principles are embedded in the Code of Ethics which guide the science, practice and education of psychologists in Canada.

We are living in a racism pandemic, which for many years has taken a heavy psychological toll on our diverse population of Canadian residents. The health consequences for Indigenous, Black, and other visible minority communities and individuals are dire. Racism and systemic discrimination are associated with a host of psychological consequences, including depression, anxiety, and other serious, debilitating conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorder. Moreover, the ongoing stress caused by racism can contribute to the development of cardiovascular and other physical diseases.

We acknowledge that the history of Psychology includes systemic discrimination against individuals, groups and communities. These discriminatory acts included biased research and biased views of other cultures and family values, inappropriate diagnostic labels and inappropriate therapies. MPS makes a commitment to continue to work towards uncovering these discriminatory and racist aspects within our discipline and to make changes to address these concerns.

As an organization, the Manitoba Psychological Society is committed to supporting equality and inclusion, and to celebrating diversity. No person or group should feel threatened, bullied, or disadvantaged because of their color, nationality or religious beliefs. All Canadians have a responsibility to listen, educate ourselves and engage in reconciliation when we witness racist behavior and acts of violence. We can also choose to engage in public protest to bring awareness and inspire change. It is not acceptable to stay silent and we stand in support of working with all individuals to heal the harm.

The Manitoba Psychological Society urges those who are experiencing trauma due to racism to practice constructive self-care. Connect with family, friends, and other community supports; talk about your experiences and feelings; limit your exposure and that of your children to distressing news media and viral videos. Consider seeking psychological services if you experience feelings and reactions that compromise your health and well-being or interfere with your daily functioning. We want to be part of the solution.

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