World events like terrorism impact our everyday lives whether we’re aware of it or not.
Due to acts of terrorism, prejudice towards people from BME communities has worsened - the national statistics do represent an increase in hate crime. There’s a lot of hate and fear directed towards people, often unfairly, due to that person fitting into some form of stereotype of what a terrorist looks or sounds like. This is the sad reality.
To be on the receiving end of this can be very upsetting and sometimes traumatic; it can have a real damaging impact on our mental health. In attempt to help you with this, here are some tips that might support you with managing this better:
- if you experience abuse of any sort due to your ethnic origin, it’s likely to cause a negative reaction within you and you might do something that you regret. Although it’s hard, it’s probably best to ignore it, don’t respond in that moment and try to remove yourself from the situation. The negative vibes aren’t worth your energy. If the abuse is serious, you can report this to the police and it can be dealt with by the authorities.
- use the support around you; your mates, family or even local services. Being part of the ethnic minority can be really tough at times; this is a fact. Talking about how you feel or your experiences is likely to help; don’t be afraid to do this.
- be yourself (excuse the cliché). Part of this is about accepting your identity and being comfortable with it. We have little ability to control world affairs, but we can control how we fit into the world.
We’ve got a long way to go before this kind of prejudice no longer exists, but it’s hoped that these tips will help manage it in the meantime, leading to a healthier you.
Rav Sekhon, an integrative counsellor and BACP registered member runs Rav Sekhon Counselling in Cheshire. He draws upon a number of theories and techniques, such as person centred, psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Gestalt; tailored in a unique and individual way for each person. He has a particular interest in working with men, and with those from BME backgrounds.