The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in collaboration with the HHS/Office of Minority Health, hosted a NNED Virtual Roundtable, Creating Supportive Systems to Improve Mental Health Outcomes for Young African American Boys: An Urgent Conversation, to increase awareness about the mental health needs and vulnerabilities of African American boys and about culturally appropriate mental health promotion and early intervention strategies. The discussion features emerging data on the age-related disparities in mental health outcomes for African American boys and related policy and practice implications.
While childhood suicide is rare, a recent analysis concluded that “among children aged 5 to 12 years, black children had a significantly higher incidence of suicide than white children.” (Bridge, et al., 2018) As part of a call for action, the Virtual Roundtable features national experts discussing cross-system approaches for developing workforce and community service capacity to address the negative mental health trend for African American boys. Panelists also share ways emerging data is influencing work in early childhood settings, family and community systems, policy, and research.
Population of focus: Young people, African American boys
Links to resource:
Resources related to young African American boys:
- Read the research article Age-Related Racial Disparity in Suicide Rates Among US Youths From 2001 Through 2015, by panelist Dr. Bridge and his research team*
- Find out how your organization can get the PLAAY training (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth) at NNEDLearn*
- Read the research article A Review of Treatments for Young Black Males Experiencing Depression* referenced by Dr. Bridge as promising treatments for a small sample size.
- Read Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic and Sexual Minority Boys and Men: a report that offers recommendations for reducing disparities and improving the overall health and well-being of vulnerable men and boys.
- Depression in Black Boys Begins Earlier Than You Think (blog post)
- Check out RESilience: An APA racial and ethnic socialization initiative that encourages healthy communication with children about race
- Visit Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Youth Mental Health – a guide for practitioners.
- Read Promoting Positive Mental Health Among Racial/Ethnic Minority Children guide – Ensuring and Enhancing Services, Programs, and Resources
- Visit the BoyCrisis.org, an online space that provides a comprehensive blueprint for what parents, teachers, and policymakers can do to help our sons become happier, healthier men and fathers and respected leaders
- Discover important trends in children’s health from the Child Defence Fund’s Child Watch Column
- Read the related article Suicide risk among urban children
- Revisit the NNEDshare piece on Brother You’re On My Mind, a toolkit to address depression and stress in African American men
General Suicide Prevention Resources
- Need someone to talk to? Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-(800)-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center*
- Learn more about Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) and how you can get trained in suicide prevention to save lives*
- View SAMHSA Suicide Prevention Resources
- View the National Institute of Mental Health’s write-up Suicide: How You Can Make a Difference
- Get the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vital Signs Suicide Rising Across the U.S.
- View materials for World Suicide Prevention Day from The International Association of Suicide Prevention including a brochure (pdf) and toolkit (pdf).
- Learn how to talk about suicide from the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Framework for Successful Suicide Prevention Messaging
- View SAMHSA’s resources for suicide survivors, After an Attempt: Guides for Suicide Attempt Survivors, Family Members, and Medical Providers in Emergency Departments
Behavioral and Mental Health in Children and Youth
- Learn about the Pyramid Model for Promoting Social and Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children*
- Find out how My Brother’s Keeper, the mentoring initiative from President Obama’s administration is expanding opportunity and creating pathways to success for young African Americans*
- Become a trained Youth Mental Health First Aid provider with the National Council for Behavioral Health*
- Learn about the Good Behavior Game, an evidence-based practice to improve behavioral health in classrooms*
- Learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 100 Men 100 Boys mentoring program*
- Learn more about the Signs of Suicide program that improves students’ knowledge and adaptive attitudes about suicide and depression*
- View Building Blocks for Preschool Success – success in preschool requires educators, psychologists, parents and caregivers working together to keep our youngest learners in the classroom
- Want to learn more about the distinctions between Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity? Visit The Equity Project, LLC with Dr. Nita Tyler*
- Read more about the Cradle to Prison Pipeline*
Other diverse population resources:
- Learn about the Trevor Project, a NNED Partner Organization that does a lot of great work with LGBTQ+ teens, particularly trans (sometimes homeless) youth at risk of suicide
- Revisit the NNEDshare piece on Honoring Health, a toolbox from the National Institutes of Health with multiple suicide prevention resources for native populations
- Revisit the NNEDshare piece on RISING SUN (Reducing the Incidence of Suicide in Indigenous Groups – Strengths United through Networks), a toolkit to help clinicians, communities, policymakers and researchers measure the impact and effectiveness of suicide prevention efforts in rural and tribal communities
- Revisit the NNEDshare piece on the Healthy Mind Initiative, working to address mental health needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander youth
- Revisit the NNEDshare piece on HAUMEA, a publication that examines important issues impacting Native Hawaiian females including mental and emotional well-being, suicidality, and more
- Revisit this NNEDshare piece for more information on population-specific suicide prevention resources
Panelist contact information:
- Dr. Rosemarie Allen, School of Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver
- Dr. Jeff Bridge, Nationwide Children’s
- Dr. Derrick Gordon, Yale University School of Medicine
- Dr. Gail Mattox, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine
- Reta Stanley, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flint and Genesee County
- Elijah Wheeler, Montgomery County (M.D.) Collaboration Council
- (Facilitator) Brandon Johnson, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- (Prevention Specialist Guest) Ashleigh Husbands, Suicide Prevention Resource Center
*Resources or materials mentioned during the NNED Virtual Roundtable