The Psychological Consequences of Racism

How Minorities Stay Healthy when Faced with Discrimination

The recent acquittal of George Zimmerman, the Florida man who admitted to killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in early 2012, has stirred up a lot of emotions around the nation regarding issues of race, the power of perceptions, and the value of human life. Earlier this month, UCSC students took to the streets in a show of solidarity to protest what many considered a grave injustice. Even President Obama has weighed in to address the profound psychological impact of this case, especially among Black Americans. It has been argued that racism strongly influenced both the targeting of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman. Since July is Minority Mental Health Month, I would like to acknowledge the impact that experiences of racism have on the mental health of people of color.

There is a growing body of research connecting experiences of racial discrimination with mental health problems. Continue reading


It’s OK to Talk

Check out this PSA from, an organization dedicated to creating a safe, destigmatized space for teens and young adults to get information and support about mental illness.

Graduate Students and Incoming Frosh Wanted

Are you an incoming first-year student looking to get a head start on getting involved on campus? Or a graduate student interested in sharing your experiences to help improve CAPS and the UCSC community?

CAPS is currently accepting applications from graduate students and incoming first-year undergraduates to join our Student Advisory Board, now in its second year at UCSC. The SAB is composed of a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of academic backgrounds. Members provide important input on issues related to the well-being and mental health of UCSC students, and the many communities that make up our school. They also have opportunities to work directly on CAPS projects with staff and peers. Serving on the advisory board will give you an opportunity to have a positive influence on CAPS’ programming, outreach, and clinical services. Continue reading

Summer at CAPS

Summer at UCSC is a relatively quiet time of year for most of the CAPS staff.  Most days, at my office at Porter College, I see more deer than I do people. Without the usual crowds of students around, whole families of them come out to snack on the lawn. We’re not doing as much counseling these days, but everyone’s been keeping busy with projects getting things ready for school to start up again in Fall.

Porter College UCSC

One of my big projects for the summer is to get the CAPS blog started, and I’m excited for today’s very first post! Since our staff started meeting with our Student Advisory Board last Winter, one of the biggest recommendations we’ve received is the importance of connecting with students and other members of the UCSC community through social media. Since then, we’ve started a CAPS Facebook Page (85 followers and counting! woo!) This blog is the next step in building our web presence.

Why do we care about getting online? Continue reading