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Problem

Lack of culturally competent care, rampant community stigma, and inadequate access to resources are just a few reasons for heightened mental illness rates in racial and ethnic minorities. Stressful life events (SLEs) are more common for racial minorities from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, whose lives can be “compounded by abject or perceived racism, a dearth of education, communal violence, single-family households, or substance abuse.” Harmful “weathering” and allostatic load can also result from extensive SLEs. Even further, an economic disparity lens gives us insight into cognitive stressors (i.e. food insecurity, exhaustion, paycheck-to-paycheck living) that limit one’s bandwidth — all of which can prevent long-term planning and proper diagnosing of mental health issues.

Mental health struggles start early, as racial/ethnic discrimination in childhood and adolescence pose psychological, behavioral, and academic burdens. Young Black children are over-policed and over-disciplined. Alarmingly, approximately 1.7 million U.S. students attend schools with police officers but no counselors, and 6 million students attend schools with police but no psychologists — largely schools with BIPOC students.

Key Terms


Solutions

1. Childhood and Adolescent Interventions

Interventions that support children and adolescents with childhood trauma or learning disabilities are critical for later success in life.

Existing Solutions

What needs to be done?

Video game therapy: Therapy integrated into video games may have high potential as a therapy for children and adolescents, especially since games have an unprecedented [global market size of $151 billion](https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/video-game-market#:~:text=The global video game market,12.9% from 2020 to 2027.). Healium is an example of a VR platform with anxiety-soothing exercises.


2. Digital Health & Wellness

Telemedicine and digital apps can better connect BIPOC individuals to quality mental health services, specialists, and education.

Existing Solutions