Black youth in the United States experience various structural, institutional, familial, and individual stressors that may increase their risk of mental health concerns (Sohail et al., 2014). The consequences of unmet mental health needs for Black youth may include academic difficulties, social concerns, increasing rates of suicide, and other detrimental long-term outcomes (Planey et al., 2019). However, there are significant individual-level, provider-level, and system-level barriers to mental health help-seeking for Black adolescents (Planey et al., 2019). Furthermore, adolescents, especially those with anxiety, depression, and other internalizing concerns, are less likely to seek professional help and are more likely to prefer self-reliance and personal coping (Cauce et al., 2002; Planey et al. 2019). As a result, there is an increase in teenagers utilizing inaccurate or noncredible social media and other digital sources for mental health psychoeducation and support (Miller, 2022). Youth are often not centered in our understanding and use of existing engagement techniques; therefore, the strategies do not utilize the help-seeking preferences of Black youth. Clinicians will reflect on their mental health engagement techniques and learn to understand, center, and utilize the generational, cultural, and systemic preferences of Black youth.
By the conclusion of this event, participants will be able to:
- Describe the state of mental health and mental health care for Black youth.
- Understand how to navigate barriers and enhance facilitators to mental health engagement for Black youth.
- Utilize strategies for engagement into mental health care that centers the needs and preferences of Black youth.