The global pandemic flood out nation’s fills with self-destructive thoughts through emotional thunderstorms. COVID-19 set government rules on social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. Social isolation strikes emotional pains, as fear and anxiety generate thoughts of loneliness and depression. Police officers’ violence and brutality toward unarmed black civilians add more tension and fear to kids of color. Access to appropriate care grows scarce, as social distancing and guideline rules are still in effect. Navigating through these racial tension has placed black youths at risk of their lives.
As those unpredictable emotional pains are left untreated, an increase in depression and suicidal thoughts become widespread. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, “suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death among Black children from ages 10 to 19. ‘The rate is rising faster for them than any other racial or ethnic group.” What can recover the lives of youths during this global pandemic and racial tensions?
Social Isolations Leading to Emotional Distress
Social isolation throughout the pandemic exposes confusion and frustrations about physical social contacts. It’s essential to have human social relationships to overcome depression and suicidal thoughts. To prevent the virus from spreading we had to maintain physical distancing 6 feet apart. Lessening close physical contact with friends and family adds to an emotional burden. Most black people resort to friends and family for support. It’s now problematic into the pandemic to seek out emotional help. The separation for an extended period causes loneliness and social anxiety. The best health precautions for all is maintaining personal contacts through technological sources. (Social media, Skype, Zoom) Frustrations over distancing rules create an intense feeling of loneliness or isolation.
Mental Health Barriers to Health Treatment
Past Racial Traumas
News media continues to report the excessive police force in attacking black people. Black kids and adults are facing racial traumas that can have a damaging effect on their mental health. Black people are in fear of being the victim, a decline in social trust, and a revisit of past traumas. You can check out my blog on revealing my past traumas. How about the adolescents who view traumatic events of viral videos with the police shooting? Research indicates young adults have higher depression rates and post-traumatic stress symptoms leaving them emotionally distresses. Each event reminds Black teens/adults that in this country, their lives become devalue.
Public protests continue calling for racial justice and defunding the police. More funding demands inequalities in mental health for Black and African Americans, notably young adults. Society must deal with stigma, cultural distrust, and systemic unfairness. Create a safe social space for Black youths and adults. Provide appropriate care and support throughout their emotional thunderstorms.
Please leave a comment below on what is one action you can do to support a loved or family friend who has suicidal thoughts. #BeThe1To #SPM20 #NotAlone
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (@800273TALK) offers free, confidential crisis counseling 24/7/365 – and you don’t have to be in crisis to call.
@CrisisTextLine is free 24/7 mental health support at your fingertips. Text “NAMI” to 741741 for help.
The Safe Place App. The Purpose of the “Safe Place” is a minority mental health app that educates and raises more awareness on Mental Illness in the Black Community.
The Trevor Project provides a national 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide hotline to listen to young people and intervene.