The last few months have been a time of heartbreak and outrage for so many people in our country, as well as a time of listening and learning for others. Millions of Americans have finally begun to acknowledge the racial injustice that has for centuries been present in our country and our institutions, with which we have been both complicit and complacent, and which we now need to work to eradicate. Our silence and our history of turning a blind eye toward the oppression of various marginalized groups is now something that we as a society must actively work to change.
Recognition of racism is an important first step in creating change. Believing that diversity and inclusion are values we should espouse is not enough. We need to work to build a framework within which we stand up for those values in everything that we do, examining our institutions and actions and giving voice to the inequity that we will inevitably see more and more of, now that we are looking. We have seen statements of solidarity and support for Black Lives Matter, but we need more than that; we need to decide that we are ready to commit to sustainable action and seeing change come to life
The Ross Center is committed to doing the work we need to do as a group and to supporting each of the individuals who work with us and whom we serve as they embark on their own journey. We have created a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and are grateful to the Ross Center staff and clinicians who have agreed to participate. One of the things we will emphasize is the curating of information and sharing of resources on our social media and website regarding mental health issues in all groups, but particularly in those who have been oppressed and marginalized.
The Ross Center also will be offering more community and professional education programs that address the mental health issues and trauma associated with living in a society that has allowed racial and other injustices to be perpetuated. Additionally, we will be looking at all of the ways in which we can support those whose voices have not been heard, including efforts to attract and recruit a more diverse a body of clinicians and ensuring that our staff feel safe speaking up on injustices. Our goal is to be a part of the change we need in the field of mental health and in this country.
At The Ross Center, we want to do more than just voice support; we want to take actionable steps. We appreciate that this will be an evolving process, and that it must continue to remain a top priority for us. As we implement these changes, we hope to gain a greater understanding of the complex emotions that have resulted from years of pain and suffering for so many of our nation’s citizens. This will deepen the connection and engagement that we have with our patients, our colleagues, and others, and certainly improve and enhance the work that we do. We thank you for being a part of our Ross Center community, and for your continued support throughout this process.