Depression in Black Children: What Does It Look Like?

What could a child possibly be depressed about? They don’t have bills or responsibilities, so what is there to really be sad about? Unfortunately, that is the misguided thinking in a lot of our homes. While a concerted effort to address mental health needs in the Black community is growing. There’s still a great need to address our little Black boys and girls who are suffering in the dark.

Childhood depression is often overlooked because kids, at the time, don’t have the language or perspective to understand what they’re feeling. Kids like Rhylan Thai Hagan and Stormiyah Denson-Jackson left this world without an explanation of their unspoken pain.

Across the nation suicides amongst Black children under 18 are up 71 percent in the past decade. Researchers are perplexed as to the reason why, but many indicate that factors such as perceived racism might explain the rise. Rheeda Walker, a professor at the University of Houston, believes that the perception that suicide isn’t a Black thing can also explain why it’s hard to detect the warning signs.

“If there is a belief that black children do not kill themselves, there’s no reason to use tools to talk about suicide prevention,” she said.

The National Institute of Mental Health defines depression as “a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe

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