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DMH Racial Justice Statement

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) recognizes that our diversity is our greatest strength. DMH appreciates and values the diverse collection of identities, experiences, perspectives, and abilities of Vermonters and commits to anti-racist, and anti-oppressive practices, systems, and programs.

DMH will rely on principles of diversity, inclusion, equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression to inform the development of policy and practice and to guide community partnerships. We will review existing policy and practice under these principles to ensure that practice is anti-racist, anti-oppressive, inclusive, culturally competent, and equitable.

We will work to improve and promote within our own staff and the broader community, awareness of and appreciation for differences including, but not limited to, race, sex, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, documentation status, culture, sexual orientation, religion, age, and ability. We will ensure that we expressly include Abenaki in our work, who have experienced hundreds of years of oppressive, racist practices in Vermont.

We are resolved to be leaders to ensure that our mental health system of care is one that promotes equality and cultural competence. We are committed to work to develop long term systemic strategies that support a highly inclusive system that addresses racism within all aspects of our system of care. We as a Department will actively engage with staff and our community partners to advance a more socially just and equitable society as well as to address disparities in mental health and to advocate for equitable mental health services for all.