Even subtle racism contributes to mental health problems

RACISM is a significant contributor to mental health problems in Aboriginal and Torres Strait people.

Depression support group Beyondblue found there had been a drop in racism towards indigenous Australians over the course of the group's Invisible Discriminator campaign.

Beyondblue chair Jeff Kennett used the start of Mental Health Week to show how mentally damaging even subtle racism could be.

"Racism, like any form of discrimination, can lead to distress and in turn depression and anxiety," he said.

"ABS data shows Indigenous Australians are twice as likely to die by suicide as non-Indigenous Australians.

"With National Mental Health Week now upon us, it is a good time to reflect on how our actions affect the wellbeing of those around us, and how we can help someone who might be struggling."

Mental Health Week is an annual national awareness event held to coincide with World Mental Health Day on October 10.

The week aims to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing in the wider community. - APN NEWSDESK