Mental Illness in African American Children and Teenagers
We know that mental illness/disorders do not discriminate based on race, colour, age, socioeconomic status, gender or identity. Anyone can experience a mental illness/disorder; however, minority communities such as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans to name a few, usually experience more severe forms of mental health problems due to unmet needs, socioeconomic disparities, racism and cultural influences.
Mental illness in Native Americans/Alaskan Natives was discussed in Blog #23. Today, in recognition of African American History month or Black History month as it is known in the United Kingdom, I will explain some of the challenges African American children and teenagers experience when living with a mental disorder.
Approximately 13.2 percent of the US population (42 million) are African American. Of those, 16 percent had a diagnosable mental disorder in the past year, yet only 1 in 3 received appropriate care and support. Mental health research on children and youth, have found that African American children and teenagers have higher rates of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), depression, and conduct disorder than Caucasian children/teenagers. Sadly, African American children and teenagers frequently do not seek or receive treatment for their mental disorders due to stigma and the community’s misunderstanding of mental illness/disorder. Consequently, the suicide rate among children ages 5 to 11 years old has increased significantly and youth suicide attempts have increased 73 percent between 1991 and 2017 (Trends of Suicidal Behaviors Among High School Students in the US).
From earlier blogs, we learnt that brain growth and development is influenced by genetics, early environment, and current environment. Risk factors for a child/teen developing a mental disorder include family history, traumatic brain injury, bullying, family history of suicide and ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) such as abuse, neglect, maltreatment. Children and teenagers from impoverished, homeless, incarcerated and/or substance abuse families, are at a significantly higher risk for mental illness.
Read the rest of the article here:
Other Mental Health Videos in this Series:
#33: Mental Illness in African American Children and Teenagers
#32: Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Children and Teenagers
#31: Mental Illness and Sleep
#30: Hoarding in Children and Teenagers:
#29: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children and Teenagers:
#28: Season Affective Disorder in Children and Teenagers
#27: Anxiety Disorders in Children and Teenagers
#26: Mental Illness and the Holidays – How to Get Through It
#25: Eating Disorders in Children and Teenagers
#24: Schizophrenia in Children and Teenagers
#23: Mental illness in Native American and Alaskan Natives Children and Teenagers
#22: Borderline Personality Disorder in Children and Teenagers
#21: PTSD & Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children &Teenagers
#20: Bullying in children/teenagers: LGBTQ, and those with disabilities and special health needs.
#19: How to help a child/teenager who is being bullied (plus How to deal with a bully):
#18: The ‘Circle of Bullying’ and Signs a Child/Teenager is Being Bullied
#17: What is Cyberbullying? How to Help Children and Teenagers Who are Cyberbullied
#16: What is Bullying? What are the Different Types of Bullying Behaviour? Who is the Bully?
#15: Depression in Children & Teens
And more on the channel
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