National non-profit organization Silence the Shame (STS) founded by music industry veteran and philanthropist Shanti Das has partnered with the state of Georgia to designate today (May 1) as Black Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Georgia. Read more details inside.
STS is dedicated to eliminating mental health stigma, reducing health disparities, and suicide rates among vulnerable populations. The organization has teamed up with the state of Georgia to recognize May 1st as Black Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The resolution was created in 2022 to bring attention to the growing risk factors and social determinants of health that worsens the mental health of Black children and teens ages 4-18.
Over the last several years, data has emerged indicating an alarming increase in the suicide rates for Black children and teenagers over the past generation. Between 1991 and 2017, suicide attempts among Black adolescents increased by 73 percent, while attempts among White youth decreased, according to data analysis of more than 198,000 high school students nationwide.
Just in the last two months, the CDC released additional information stating that Black suicide rates were up 36 percent using data sourced from 2018-2021. As a result of these findings, psychologists boost their efforts to address suicide by diagnosing and treating its precursors, including trauma, depression, and anxiety, while raising awareness of the crisis.
These statistics support STS’s initiatives, partnerships and collaborations to combat the growing suicide rate amongst Black children.
STS will observe this day by hosting a Youth Mental Wellness COPE Clinic for middle school students with Fulton County Government and Atlanta Public & Fulton County Schools on May 2 and sharing recent data from researchers.
Silence the Shame’s mission is to empower and educate communities on mental health and wellness, and their working vision is mental health equity and access for all. In 2022, STS partnered with Georgia State Senator Tonya Anderson and the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus to designate May 1st as Black Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Georgia. They seek to partner with other states across the U.S. to enact a resolution to bring awareness of suicide in Black communities.
“I am saddened by the growing rates of suicides and mental health disparities among Black youth,” said Commissioner Hall. “It’s important that we prioritize and address mental health disparities among Black children by working together to bring awareness to observances like Black Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Furthermore, I am confident that my partnership with Shanti Das and Silence the Shame, Inc. to co-host the Youth Mental Wellness COPE Clinic will provide resources to better equip youth with the skills and knowledge they need to avoid growing risk factors and social determinants of health that are known to exacerbate the mental health of black children.”
Silence the Shame is working to establish partnerships with existing leaders to advance awareness and advocacy of disparities. The non-profit organization asks for community support to designate May 1st as Black Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in your state or activate your legislative body to adopt it.
For more information, please visit Silence the Shame’s website.
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