Report Sheds Light on Black Mental Illness

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Often thought of as a “white person’s disease,” depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and other mental illnesses are claiming the lives of Blacks at rapid rates.

And a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Project Know sheds even more light on the effects of mental illness on African Americans.

The High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey takes a hard look at teenage mental health by examining factors that may lead to mental illness, such as bullying and sexual assault.

According to researchers, nearly 60 percent of Black teens with depression do not receive any kind of treatment and they experience physical dating violence 6 percent more often than their white peers.

Black females experience more suicidal thoughts than Black males, but Black males kill themselves more often, the study found.

Researchers also found that suicides increase as children get older. In 2014, the rate more than tripled from the ages of 11 to 13. It almost doubled from ages 13 to 15, and again from 15 to 19.

For that same year, suicide was the second leading cause of teenage fatalities in the U.S., accounting for 7.3 deaths per 100,000 lives. This numbers reflect a 14 percent increase from 1999.

Each year, more than 2.5 million young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have a major depressive episode in which they feel depressed for two or more weeks in a row, researchers found. The potential outcomes from these periods of sadness range from severe impairment to daily activities, to the tragedy of teen suicide.

Click here for the full report.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression and would like to speak to someone, call 1-888-287-0471 at any time.