This systematic analysis aims to evaluate the evidence in literature regarding socio-cognitive aspects as stressful events for mental health in ethnic and minority groups. The databases tackled were PubMed, SCIELO and Pepsic. After reaching a total of 792 studies through descriptors, selection criteria, and reading different titles and abstracts, 532 duplicated articles were excluded and finally 32 articles were analyzed. The results show that some socio-cognitive aspects such as racism, discrimination and prejudice affect the health of ethnic and racial groups in multiple negative ways. When the policies and practices that control access to resources are based on negative stereotypes promoted by cultural racism, this results in in harmful psychological responses to health. Historically, studies have shown that even though racial discrimination is seen as a stressful, subjective situation, it has been neglected so far. In highly inequitable and adverse environments, such as Brazil, people suffer from a psychological distress due to their ethnic or racial affiliation, or for being part of a minority group as a consequence of the same discrimination and existent prejudice they are victims of.