Effects of Discrimination on Mental Health and Well-Being
| 4 min read
Ms. Hurd is the vice president, Inclusion and Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan where she is responsible for leading and executing the corporate inclusion and diversity strategy for Blue Cross and its subsidiaries and shaping a culture of inclusion. She also leads the Office of Health and Health Care Disparities with a vision of Better Health for All which focuses on achieving health equity in the delivery of, quality and access to care. Ms. Hurd facilitates the enterprise’s Diversity Leadership Councils, Physician Diversity Council and oversees diversity and cultural competency learning opportunities for employees, Inclusion and Diversity coaching programs, 15 employee resource networks and the integration of an inclusion and diversity lens in providing service to members and customers. She currently represents Blue Cross on the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in April 2020. She serves on the BCBS Health Equity Champions Committee and the national Health Care Transformation Task Force Health Equity Advisory Group. Hurd is a recipient of the national DentaQuest 2020 Health Equity Heroes award which recognizes individuals working to achieve equity during this time of coronavirus. In 2021, she was also recognized as a Top 100 Diversity Officer by the National Diversity Council.
Impacts on Adults
- Stress reactions to traumatic events depend upon the severity and may last from a few days to a few months, or longer.
- Symptoms of a stress reaction are varied and can be physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral.
Impacts on Children
Impact on Physical Health
- If stress continues over time, it could contribute to serious health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other issues including depression and anxiety. Seeking help from a licensed mental health provider to help individuals process their emotions tied to racial injustices is an important step to avoid long-term health problems from chronic stress. Find Help While members of minority communities may face barriers to accessing the treatment and care that they need, help is available. Individuals without insurance can access free or low-cost mental health services through Community Mental Health programs, Federally Qualified health Centers, free or low-cost care locations and Safety Net Clinics. For those with insurance, start by calling the number on the back of the insurance I.D. card to be connected to a mental health provider. William Beecroft, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A., is a medical director of behavioral health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Bridget Hurd is vice president of Inclusion & Diversity at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. More from MIBluesPerspectives:
- Immune system
- Digestive system
- Cardiovascular system
- Reproductive system
- Tackling Barriers to Mental Health Care in Minority Communities
- Institutional Bias and its Impacts on Health
- Finding Mental Health Resources for Underserved Communities Photo credit: Getty Images