How Do We Break the Cycle of Mental Illness Within the Black Community?

October 8, 2019

Written By Jasmine

Mental illness, therapy, generational trauma; all of these topics are so very important to the overall wellbeing of our community. Yet, with all the importance these topics carry, it seems as though they are also the most ignored. In fact, just the idea of talking about these things is taboo, why is that?

For years growing up I was always made to believe that Black people just didn’t struggle with mental health. We had our struggles, yes, but no one talked about depression, suicidal thoughts or seeking therapy because we simply didn’t need to…or so I thought.

According to a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics, black children aged 5-12 years old are almost twice as likely to commit suicide than white children of the same age. The National average has always stated that in youth aged 13-17 years old, suicide was roughly 50% lower in black children than in white children, however we’re now seeing that this specific age range (5-12 y.o.) diverts from the norm.

The first step to making a change is acknowledging that a change needs to be made in the first place. If you didn’t know how badly our kids needed us before, now you do. So, how can you help? It’s simple, all you have to do is talk! The more we share our own struggles with mental health, the more we loosen the stigma attached to it. Open up, it’s time to normalize mental health in our community!

Tune in to the WDKX Podcast episode on mental health in the black community below: