In 2020, suicide was the third leading cause of death for black and African American youth ages 15-19. Mental health disparities among minority groups are a severe problem in the United States. There have been increasing trends in suicidal ideation and attempts among US adolescents by sex and race/ethnicity over the past few decades. A study by JAMA Network Open found that Black and Hispanic adolescents were more likely to report suicidal ideation and attempts than White adolescents.

Several factors contribute to minority mental health disparities including:

  • Racial and ethnic discrimination: Minority groups often experience discrimination in all areas of life, including school life and employment. This discrimination can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Lack of access to care: Minority groups are more likely to live in poverty and have less access to healthcare than White Americans. This can make it difficult for them to get the mental health care they need.
  • Cultural stigma & family pressure: Mental health is often stigmatized in minority cultures. This can prevent people from seeking help for mental health challenges.

It is important for schools to adapt culturally sensitive education into their curriculum so that minority youth feel seen, and can relate to their education in a way that will be impactful. Seeing more minority stories being told busts stigma, spreads awareness, and encourages help-seeking for these youth.

Your Donation Makes an Impact

Erika’s Lighthouse is a nonprofit that dedicates itself to making depression education free, accessible, and turn-key for educators to bring to their schools. Donating to Erika’s Lighthouse can help to improve the mental health of teen minorities in several ways. Your donation can help to:

  • Fund classroom education programs: These free programs teach students about mental health and depression by showing them stories told by teens who may relate to their everyday lives. They can help to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and encourage help-seeking for minorities.
  • Support the Empowerment Clubs: These clubs provide a safe space for all youth to connect with other teens who understand what they are going through. It can help spread school-wide awareness and positivity.
  • Provide resources to families: Erika’s Lighthouse offers resources to help families support their children’s mental health. These resources can help families to understand mental illness, communicate with their children about mental health without judgment, and to find the right treatment for their child.
  • Develop school policies and practices that promote positive mental health: Erika’s Lighthouse works with schools to develop policies and practices that promote positive mental health. These policies can help to create a school environment that is supportive of mental health and that is free from discrimination and stigma.

Your donation to Erika’s Lighthouse can make a real difference in the lives of minority youth. By donating, you can help to improve mental health outcomes for minority youth and to reduce the disparities that exist.