Race Based Trauma Resources and Support in Times of Civil Strife

Page updated on Jul 8, 2021 at 12:36 PM

Below is a growing list of resources related to coping with racism and trauma on individual, interpersonal/family, community and national/global levels. The resources are collected and maintained by the Department of Community and Human Services Racial Equity Core Team and Alexandria’s trauma-informed community network, Resilience Alexandria: Inform. Support. Elevate. (RAISE). The City’s provision of these resources is not a statement of endorsement.

Continuum of Coping with Racism and Trauma

Resources to Support an Individual

This Continuum of Resources for Coping with Racism and Trauma begins at the individual level – the things that individuals can do to help them cope with racial trauma and learn how to support those experiencing racial trauma. Taking care of yourself (me) is an important first step towards taking care of your loved ones and community (we). Below are some coping resources for individuals.


Resources for Black Mental Health and Racial Healing

Racial Reconciliation and Racial Healing

  • Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large. Visit their webpage on Racial Reconciliation and Racial Healing to find content and key sites related to reconciliation and racial healing.

 Race Specific Resources and Information

  • Project LETS is a national grassroots organization and movement led by and for folks with lived experience of mental illness, Disability, trauma, & neurodivergence. “We specialize in building just, responsive, and transformative peer support collectives and community mental health care structures that do not depend on state-sanctioned systems that trap our folks in the medical/prison-industrial complex.” Check out their Race and Mental Health page for resources and information for Black Community, Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities, Alaska Native and Indigenous Communities, Latinx Communities, and white folks.

44 Mental Health Resources for Black People Trying to Survive in This Country

  • SELF magazine features a collection of mental health resources for Black people on this Mental Health webpage. There is solidarity and support out there if you need help processing what’s happening. Here’s a list of resources that may help if you’re looking for mental health support that validates and celebrates your Blackness. It starts with people to follow on Instagram who regularly drop mental health gems, then goes into groups and organizations that do the same, followed by directories and networks for finding a Black mental health practitioner. Lastly, they have added a few tips to keep in mind when seeking out this kind of mental health support, especially right now.

Therapy for Black Girls

  • So often the stigma surrounding mental health issues and therapy prevents Black women from taking the step of seeing a therapist. Therapy for Black Girls is an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. This space was developed to present mental health topics in a way that feels more accessible and relevant.

Therapy for Black Men

  • TherapyForBlackMen.org is a directory to help men of color find a therapist. Using the directory, men can search by therapist location, specialization, and many other criteria. Searching by location, the results will include the therapists near you and will display their credentials, location, and the issues they treat. TherapyForBlackMen.org will soon be supporting free therapy sessions for Black Men who do not have insurance or Medicaid/Medicare. 

Mental Health Resources for Black Youth and Young Adults

  • Compilation of resources for young people organized by the following categories: If you’re in a crisis, Therapy Opportunities and Directories, Online Support Communities, Therapy Resources, Self-Care Ideas, Affirmations, Instagram Accounts to Follow, Podcasts and Podcast Episodes, Articles, and Videos.

A List Of Mental Health Resources Available For People Of Color

  • This list offers a variety of mental health services specifically for people of color. Some make it easier to find a therapist of color; others offer access to communities focused on different aspects of mental wellness; others provide yoga or meditation classes led by Black practitioners. Use them, share them, support them as they do their critically important work.

55 Mental Health Resources for People of Color

  • This guide, published by Online Master of Social Work Programs, compiles informational resources for culturally diverse populations such as African Americans, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, Latinx Americans and Native Americans/Alaska Natives. Readers can find mental health resources, podcasts and advocacy organizations to help address behavioral and emotional health needs, treatment and how to find care.

Immigration, Latinx/Hispanic Communities, and Mental Health

American Psychological Association: Immigration

  • APA supports practical, humane immigration policies that consider the needs of immigrants, and particularly immigrant families, while also recognizing the need to balance these policies with national security and public safety. The APA’s Psychology Help Center is a resource featuring information related to psychological issues affecting your daily physical and emotional well-being. Refer to their fact sheet series to learn how psychologists can help. Need to talk to someone? Check out their Crisis Hotlines and Resource page to find a specialist who is available for confidential telephone counseling.

Mental Health America: Latino/Hispanic Communities and Mental Health

  • Mental Health America (MHA) works nationally and locally to raise awareness about mental health and ensures that those at-risk for mental illnesses and related disorders receive proper, timely and effective treatment. MHA incorporates culturally competent strategies to ensure that it is effectively addressing the treatment and psychosocial needs of consumers and families with diverse values, beliefs, sexual orientations, and backgrounds that vary by race, ethnicity and/or language. Check out theirLatinx/Hispanic Communities and Mental Health page for a complete list of Spanish language materials, including our Spanish-language screening tools.


PRS CrisisLink

  • CrisisLink provides 24/7 crisis intervention, suicide prevention and support to foster self-sufficiency by providing problem-solving skills and information on community resources so callers can better cope with emotional trauma, personal and family crises. Text "CONNECT" to 855-11 or call 703.527.4077.


Oak Meditation (black-owned and focused on serving black/brown people)

  • Oak helps you decompress by transforming your meditation practice from an experiment into a habit. Oak supports you from your first session to your 500th, with mindful, loving-kindness, and sleep meditations as well as unguided sessions and breathing exercises. Individualize your meditations by duration, and customize with silence or calming background sounds. Oak tracks your progress and encourages you to continue building a healthy meditation practice. This app is free.

Black Girl in Om

  • Please enjoy this complimentary meditation led by Lauren Ash. Subscribe to their newsletter here.

Dive in Well  (black owned and focused on serving black/brown people)

  • Dive in Well creates meaningful opportunities for change-makers to facilitate on and offline conversations as a catalyst for change and accessibility. Dive in Well has expanded their offerings to both offline and online experiences, resources and tools to empower both consumers and participants who believe in soul-centered wellness so we may all be well.

Racial Trauma and Wellness Resources

Racial Trauma Toolkit

  • In this era of having witnessed multiple police killings of African American boys and men and girls and women either directly or vicariously through media accounts, communities of Color may experience post trauma symptoms.  The Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture Alumni Board has released a toolkit for managing symptoms at #racialtraumaisreal which is available to download in manuscript form (2015) or as an infograghic.

Dear Black Woman

  • Dear Black Women is an affirmation movement for Black women by Black women. Find affirmations, self-care tips, and join the movement here.


  • Black Girl Health (BGH) is a digital outreach organization designed to help minority women and girls live a healthier lifestyle through its online services including “Blackgirlhealth.com,” its digital magazine, social media awareness campaigns, commercials, outreach events. BGH was founded in 2014, by television journalist Porcha Johnson. BGH focuses on preventative care nutrition and fitness. BGH is committed to online outreach targeting minorities in underserved areas. Their mission is to reduce the health disparities among minorities and communities with the highest risks.


Stay healthy by sleeping regularly, eating right, avoiding alcohol and other drugs, exercising, relaxing and doing things you enjoy. 


  • GirlTrek’s is pioneering a health movement for African-American women and girls grounded in civil rights history and principles through walking campaigns, community leadership, and health advocacy. GirlTrek’s mission is to inspire one million African-American women and girls to develop a daily habit of walking. Check out their 100 Radical Acts of Self-Care, Black History Bootcamp, COVID-19 Self Care Plan, and more by visiting their website.

Instagram accounts: @thequii_tofitness, @alittletaeste, @fancy85fit

Addiction and Recovery Resources for BIPOC Communities

Find a Detox Center Near You

  • Detox Local provides a nationwide directory of drug and alcohol detox centers, including an extensive list of mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community. You can browse their comprehensive directory of SAMSHA-approved medical detox centers by state, zip code, or through an interactive map. Depending on the specific drug someone was using, they may need a certain type of detox and that is made easy at Detox Local.

Dual Diagnosis Guide for African Americans

  • Drug overdoses have been on the rise over the past decade, and this trend has only accelerated since COVID-19 emerged. Live Another Day seeks to raise awareness and connect those suffering with the life-saving resources they need. They provide a dual diagnosis guide written specifically for African Americans that addresses the intersection of mental illness and substance abuse.

Behavioral Health Resources for Black Communities in the Mid-Atlantic Region

  • The Region 7 Mid-America Technology Transfer Centers (TTCs) recognize that Black communities in our country are hurting as the result of violence, bigotry and racism. Racism and discrimination are associated with dire behavioral and physical health issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders. Disparities in equitable access to services and resources perpetuate these issues. Across the Mid-America region, the TCCs commit to collectively increasing their efforts to develop a collaborative plan with their community partners to be part of a solution to promote equity, safety and health for our communities. As a start to their efforts to promote behavioral health equity for all, they have compiled some resources that may support you in your work. See resources online or download the pdf here.

SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Equity Resources for BIPOC and LGBTQ Communities

  • SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Office of Behavioral Health Equity focuses on the promotion of behavioral health equity for underserved racial and ethnic minority, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations. On their webpage you can find health and health care disparities data, reports, issue briefs, policy and strategy development guides, and more.

One Sky Center’s Resources for Indigenous Communities

  • One Sky Center’s mission is to improve prevention and treatment of mental health and substance abuse problems and services among Native people. Their National Resource Center promotes effective, evidence-based, and culturally appropriate mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services for Native populations. Visit their website to learn more about the technical assistance, training and products they provide to expand the capacity and quality of mental heath and substance abuse prevention and treatment practitioners serving Native populations

Comprehensive Health Resource Guide for Native Youth

  • We R Native is a comprehensive health resource for Native youth, by Native youth, providing content and stories about the topics that matter most to them. We R Native strives to promote holistic health and positive growth in local communities and nation at large. Check out their website for resources related to culture and identity, wellness and healing, managing school stress, sexual health, dating, mental health challenges, substance misuse, grant opportunities, and more.

Podcasts that Discuss Race and Racism in America

Checkbox Outreach. Outreach with intention & impact.

  • Checkbox Outreach is a podcast hosted by two Northern Virginia-based public health and urban planning strategists, Alyia Gaskins and Katie Leonard. Checkbox Outreach is issue-focused and elevates the stories of change-makers and leaders. Alyia and Katie shed light on issues that communities are facing and propose strategies to positively impact policies, systems, and institutions as well as personal mindsets and behaviors. This is more than simply putting a check in a box - this is about impact and moving the needle. The Checkbox Outreach podcast is available on iTunes and Spotify.

The Anti-Racist Podcast List

  • Elle magazine wants you to check out these 10 podcasts, make your anti-racist reading list, and commit the remainder of quarantine and beyond to studying possibilities for racial equity.

More Podcasts that Discuss Race

The National Museum of African American History and Culture

  • Since the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the number one question people ask us is how to talk about race. In 2014, the museum launched its signature program, “Let’s Talk! Teaching Race in the Classroom.” The Museum’s website now provides tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation. Parents, educators, and people committed to equity can start their journey by exploring one of the Talking About Race topics, including self-care, being anti-racist, racial healing, and more here.

Guide to Allyship

Whiteness and White Privilege

  • One way to jumpstart racial equity work is by reviewing its core concepts. These include: race, ethnicity, racism, white privilege and internalized racism. To create effective strategies that contribute to progress on addressing racial inequities or improving race relations, it helps to know how race is constructed, and to understand how racism works, how privilege is embedded in our systems, and how internalized racism and superiority are created and maintained. Check out Racial Equity Tools webpage on Whiteness and White Privilege to learn more about these concepts, access resources, research, and more.

Critical Racial and Social Justice Education

  • Dr. Robin DiAngelo, author of books, What Does It Mean To Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy, and White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism, compiles many resources, tools, handouts, and more here

Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources

  • This is a working document of anti-racism resources. The goal is to facilitate growth for white folks to become allies, and eventually accomplices for anti-racist work. These resources have been ordered in an attempt to make them more accessible, moving white people progressively toward a stronger understanding of white identity development and their corresponding beliefs/thoughts/actions. These resources will continue to be updated.

For Further Reading on Black Mental Health and Race Based Traumatic Stress

Systems of Trauma: Racial Trauma Brief

  • This issue brief, released by the Family and Children’s Trust Fund of Virginia, explores how racial trauma intersects and exacerbates trauma caused by family violence.  In order to do so effectively, the brief reviews issues of structurally embedded inequalities, individual actions that cause racial trauma, the effects of racial trauma on communities of color, and strategies for individuals, communities, professionals and organizations to prevent and mitigate race-based traumatic stress. Accompanying resources for this issue brief are available at www.fact.virginia.gov/systems-of-trauma.

An Antiracist Reading List

  • Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, shares his reading list that is composed of a combination of classics, relatively obscure works and a few of recent vintage. “Think of it as a stepladder to antiracism, each step addressing a different stage of the journey toward destroying racism’s insidious hold on all of us.”

Perceived Racism May Impact Black Americans' Mental Health

Discrimination can be Harmful to your Mental Health - UCLA experts view mental health status of victims as a public health concern

Racism’s Psychological Toll

Links Between Racial Discrimination, Stress and Health

Coping with Race-Related Stress at School/Work

Actions You Can Do TODAY

Interpersonal and Family

If you’re an individual who is practicing self-care and ready to care for others, you can explore the coping resources on the Continuum dedicated to engaging with your friend or family member. At the Interpersonal/Family level, you’ll find resources that are intended to help you engage in conversations about race and racism with children, resources that will help your family meet their basic needs, and resources for allies who want to support their colleague of color.


Resources for Meeting Basic Needs

Assistance from A Distance

  • This one-page infographic, brought to you by the Department of Community and Human Services, provides ways to access their services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find numbers for child protective services, child and family behavioral health services, domestic violence hotlines

Resources for Talking to Kids about Race and Racism

Talking with Students about Racism

  • The American School Counselors Association (ASCA) provides a plethora of resources, including webinars and ASCA standards for guiding ethical, equitable, and inclusive school environments and school counseling programs, that are helpful in addressing issues of systemic and institutional racism with students. School counselors are advocates for the equitable treatment of all students in school and in the community. School counselors must be prepared to talk to students about race issues and anti-racism.

Resources for Talking about Race, Racism, and Racialized Violence with Kids

  • The Center for Racial Justice in Education complied a list of resources for talking to kids about race, racism, and racialized violence. It is not meant to be exhaustive and will be continually updated as they are made aware of more resources. 

Resources for Assessing Racial Stress and Trauma

A Guide to the Forensic Assessment of Race-Based Traumatic Stress Reactions

Racism and Psychological and Emotional Injury: Recognizing and assessing race-based traumatic stress

Preventing and Treating PTSD in African Americans

Actions You Can Do TODAY:

  • Connect with justice focused friends and colleagues
  • Listen to communities of color. Understanding what Black, Brown, or Indigenous people need to thrive is crucial right now
  • Spread your compassion and empathy



If you’re ready to engage in local community activities and conversations that will collectively move us towards healing and racial justice, then check out these resources below that fall on the Community-level of the Continuum for Coping with Racism and Trauma.

Resources for the Classroom

Teaching Tolerance

  • Teaching Tolerance’s mission is to help teachers and schools educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy. Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use their materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants.

Resources for Effectively Talking about Race with Stakeholders

Talking about Race Toolkit

  • Ready to help change our narrative on race and win critical policy fights? The Center for Social Inclusion has developed the toolkit for you. This toolkit is a collection of the key strategies that they have found are necessary in combating the race wedge and advancing racial equity. Effectively talking about race is an essential skill for advancing racial equity. The Center for Social Inclusion believes that this approach can help a variety of stakeholders to effectively talk about race and policy.

Local Membership-Based Organizations

RAISE (Resilience Alexandria: Inform. Support. Elevate.)

Alexandria’s Trauma Informed Community Network (TICN) is located in Alexandria, Virginia. Established in July 2019, Alexandria’s TICN aims to build a more equitable, safe, trauma-informed and resilient Alexandria by informing, supporting and elevating our community. Hence its name, Resilience Alexandria: Inform. Support. Elevate. (RAISE). If you want to join this community network and help Alexandria become a more trauma informed and resilient place to live, work, and play, then fill out this short registration form to join their mailing list.

SPAN (Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia)

SPAN is a regional coalition of the Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax-Falls Church, Loudoun, and Prince William Community Services Boards (CSBs) and other groups in Northern Virginia, all working together to raise awareness and share resources to prevent suicide. Click hereto sign up for updates and news from SPAN. If you or someone you care about may be at risk of suicide, don't hesitate to reach out for help right away. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Veteran's Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1.

Actions You Can Do Today:


National and Global

For people wanting to support racial justice on the national or even global level, then this end of the Continuum provides some of the organizations


Poor Peoples Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival unites people from across the nation to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. The Campaign calls for a movement that will shift the moral narrative, impact policies and elections at every level of government, and build lasting power for poor and impacted people. To join the movement in your state, visit their Action webpage.

GARE (Government Alliance for Race and Equity)

The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. Across the country, governmental jurisdictions are:

  • Making a commitment to achieving racial equity
  • Focusing on the power and influence of their own institutions, and
  • Working in partnership with others

When this occurs, significant leverage and expansion opportunities emerge, setting the stage for the achievement of racial equity in our communities. For information about membership, contact gare@raceforward.org.


People of color are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and its economic fallout. PolicyLink is working to make sure that medical care, emergency relief, and longer-term recovery efforts target the people and places in greatest need by advancing an intersectional equity policy agenda for federal, state, and local leaders driven by Principles for a Common-Sense, Street- Smart Recovery, and bringing a sharp focus on the racial implications of the crises through a weekly commentary and media analysis project. Find out more. Follow PolicyLink on social platforms, #COVIDandRace


Resources for Foundation and Organizational Leaders

Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE)

  • The goal of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) is to increase the amount and effectiveness of resources aimed at combating institutional and structural racism in communities through capacity building, education, and convening of grantmakers and grantseekers. PRE has published Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens: A Practical Guide, to help foundation leaders understand what it means to move from racial equity to racial justice funding strategies. It also addresses how to align operational practices to both reduce racial inequity and advance racial justice, with a chapter on selecting the right tools and consultants.

Centering Race Equity and Thinking Strategically in a Long-Term Crisis: A Discussion of Organizational Responses to COVID-19

  • One way to join the racial justice movement is by signing up to receive updates from DC’s Equity in the Center. Their webpage includes resources and services such as convenings, working sessions, coaching, and trainings designed to shift mindsets, practices and systems in the social sector to increase race equity and build a Race Equity Culture. You’ll also find this recording of a panel discussion on Organizational Responses to COVID-19. “With the emergency of COVID-19, the most vulnerable members of society are more under-resourced and at risk of death than average. At the same time, many organizations just beginning equity work are questioning if it can/should continue, either because they no longer have revenue to pay for it, or because they “don’t have the bandwidth.” Using the framework Nicola Chin shared in a recent Woke@Work guest blog, panelists will discuss examples of how organizations are both centering race equity in immediate responses to COVID-19 and thinking strategically for the longer-term.”

Race Forward

  • Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, Race Forward builds strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.

Actions You Can Do TODAY: