Health disparities and the impact of racism on the mental and physical health of people of color has been well-documented. However, health research has historically approached race as a genetic and biological attribute to explain differences in health outcomes. Although more recent policies and research have begun to move toward conceptualizing race as a socially constructed category that can be thought of as a proxy for racism, the ways in which race and racism are conceptualized in mental health disparities research needs deeper analysis. Using critical race theory (CRT) and content analysis, we investigate how mental health research has examined race, racism, and mental health in PubMed articles published between 2012 and 2022. Findings suggest a need for more complex conceptualizations of race, particularly related to essentialized, monoracial framings that rarely explore how race is defined and employed. Much of the research analyzed did not position racism, discrimination, or oppression as central to contextualizing racial mental health disparities. Additionally, the role of voice was often missing, limiting understandings of racialized experiences. Results of this analysis illuminate areas the need for more racism conscious approaches to understanding racial disparities in mental health and identifying opportunities to promote health equity.