October 2023 Volunteers Meeting: Multiculturalism & Mental Health

Did you know we host monthly meetings exclusive for Step Above Stigma volunteers? 

We host these meetings to have open discussions about different mental health issues affecting our community, as well as how we can empower ourselves and each other to overcome these stigmas.

In our October meeting, we discussed cultural stigma and mental health. 

We held a round table discussion which focused on addressing the following questions:

  • What kind of cultural stigma exists within our community?
  • How can we, as mental health advocates, break the cultural stigma that exists around us?
  • What can our organization do to reach more diverse communities and organizations as we expand?
  • How different ways of thinking and an empathetic mindset are important to cultivate when learning about multiculturalism and how it impacts mental health. 
  • The importance of cultural sensitivity in everyday life. 

Key aspects of our discussion included (but was not limited to):

  1. How generational trauma can significantly impact mental health and worldview.
  2. How societal norms can impact navigating institutions such as schools.
  3. How some cultural norms cause us to suppress our mental health issues.
  4. Why it’s important to be open to new perspectives as to not stigmatize yourself and others.
  5. Why it’s important to adopt an educational approach at times as well, since sometimes people may not be aware that they can potentially say something that can be hurtful to certain cultures. Directing people to resources and openly acknowledging that your sentiments were hurt by what they said is important. In addition, it is important to call people out if you can. Be a good bystander. 
  6. How international students can find it challenging to navigate micro-aggressions such as phrases around accents, differing from stereotypes, etc.

We are grateful for all our volunteers who attended, shared their personal experiences and engaged in meaningful conversations surrounding the topic! Thank you for being so vulnerable and taking a step with us, however little it may be, towards breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health. Stay tuned for our November meeting!

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