On the eve of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) launched an Emergency Task Force on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health to bring attention to the rising suicide rate among black children, “and to identify legislative recommendations to address this mental health crisis.” (Source: The Root)
Dr. Annelle Primm, Senior Medical Advisor, will represent the Steve Fund on a working group of experts and stakeholders to support this new task force.
The purpose of the group is to shed light on the mental health of black youth and related racial disparities. Ultimately, the group will contribute to the development of a report by the end of 2019 that will identify actionable steps and solutions for the community and for Congress, including potential legislative recommendations.
Given the Steve Fund’s focus on the mental health and well-being of students and young people of color, participation in the working group is an ideal opportunity for the Fund to contribute to national progress in addressing the needs of this demographic group.
According to a 2008 JAMA Pediatrics article on Black Boys and Suicide, suicide rates in the United States have traditionally been higher among white than black individuals across all age groups. However, in the last 25 years, suicide rates have increased among black children aged 5 to 11 years and decreased among white children of the same age.
“We can no longer stand aside and watch as the youth in our community continue to struggle with depression, traumatic stress, or anxiety. Far too often the pain that African Americans experience is either overlooked or dismissed,” Rep. Karen Bass, CBC Chair, said during the panel. “That has to end today.”
— Read more: The Root