Mental health of ethnic minorities: the role of racism

Ricci F., Torales J., Bener A., Castaldelli-Maia J. M., Chumakov E., Bellomo A., ...More

INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF PSYCHIATRY, vol.35, no.3-4, pp.258-267, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 3-4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09540261.2023.2189951
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, Educational research abstracts (ERA), EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.258-267
  • Keywords: Racism, discrimination, ethnics, ethnic minorities, mental health, psychosis, mood disorder, substance abuse
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Racism and racial discrimination heavily impact on health and mental health of ethnic minorities. In this conceptual paper and narrative review, we aim to report on relevant evidence from the international literature describing the prevalence and the qualitative aspects of mental illness due to racism and ethnic- discrimination in different settings and populations. Some variables related to racism, such as cultural, institutional, interpersonal factors, as well as the concepts of perceived and internalised racism will be described and discussed. These are relevant characteristics in the explanatory model of the relationship between racism and mental health. Epidemiological data on the prevalence of depressive and psychotic symptoms as well as substance abuse/misuse among ethnic minorities in large catchment areas, such as United States and United Kingdom, will be represented. We conclude that anti-racism policies are essential in order to address racism and racial discrimination around the world. Pluralistic societies should be promoted in order to understand mental illnesses among ethnic and cultural minorities. Also, anti-racism programs should be delivered in the educational and health-care settings and their impact evaluated.