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Colorful Sand Art

Intersectionality & Minority Stress


Intersectional Theory considers that people can be disadvantaged or discriminated against  by several forms of oppression such as: racism, cissexism, genderism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, classism and colonialism.

When addressing mental health concerns on an individual level, it's important to consider which systems of oppression may have historically - or are currently - influencing an individual's beliefs about themselves that are damaging, or are limiting their opportunities. This lens removes the responsibility from individuals, groups, or communities and places it in the larger social, political and cultural context. 

Minority Stress Model

Ilan H. Meyer

Every human faces stress, but minorities face chronic stress that is additional to the stress experienced by non-minority peoples. There can be many intersections of identities that can make one more susceptible to minority stress. This chronic stress is a product of attitudes, values and belief systems that exist in society, culture, religion, families, communities and systems. Minorities face additional discrimination, marginalization, oppression, harassment and invisibility. The stress and invalidation of this has a profound impact on well-being and identity. Being in a world of negative attitudes can lead to internalized stigma, shame, self-loathing and hiding of our true identity, which limits our potential to live the most authentic life possible. 

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