Mental Health Of African American Youth Essay

Length: 5 pages Type: Essay Paper: #85941626 Related Topics: Social Media, Mental Disorder, Substance Abuse, Mental Health Issues Published August 03, 2022
Excerpt from Essay :

African American Youth Mental Health


This paper summarizes an interview with Tracy Nia about her work as a youth wellness consultant. Her selection is that Tracy Nia, a Black Mental Health Alliance consultant, has diverse experience in mental health care. Tracy Nia has a Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University and a Master of Social Work. She is also a certified art therapy life coach, and she provides treatment for anxiety disorders, sensor-related disorders, trauma, and mood disorders. Based on her experience as a mental health therapist, Tracy Nia was the perfect person for the interview. Given her busy schedule, she could not meet a face-to-face interview; hence the interview was via zoom. The discussion, which took place on 29th, 2022, addresses the social problem that she is addressing, policies and legislations, gaps in the survivor services, activism and social justice, and self-care and spirituality.

Social Problem

Nia Jones lost her childhood best friend after she committed suicide. Her friend, Mitchell, suffered from depression due to their family problems, but she did not open up to tell anyone. As a result, she opted to commit suicide to solve the challenge she was encountering. Nia says that "after losing my childhood friend, I battled trauma depression as I blamed myself for her death. I felt I had failed as a friend, and that is why she did not open up to me about the issues she was encountering."

As a result, I choose to be a youth therapist so that I can create a safe space for them to talk about their mental health challenges. "My advocacy journey began via a social media page on Instagram called "Your Mental Health Matters." It was primarily for the youths to give them a chance to open up about their mental health. I could identify some severe cases and offer them free therapy.

My curiosity made me enquire why she primarily advocates for African American youths. Nia claims that based on her research, mental health disorder is common among African American children, particularly the male gender aged between 13-18 years. However, despite having high numbers of mental health issues, they do not speak out due to stigma and cultural beliefs.

Policies and Legislations

The United States has developed several policies concerning mental health issues. The first policy is the Children's Health Act of 2000 (SAMHSA, n.d). The policy was designed to reduce adolescents' mental health issues and substance abuse. The act outlines ways in which the use of substances such as schedule III, IV, or V can be curbed, and it also fights against discriminatory Acts. Nia said this was a significant step, particularly regarding the biased sector. The government could therefore respond to all communities in need of mental health.

The second policy is the Garrett Lea Smith Memorial Act, which aims to fund programs that advocate against suicide among youths. This policy ensured that funds were set aside by the government agencies and donated to schools, campuses, and youth programs to reduce suicide cases among the youths.

The third policy is the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act of 2018. It is the most recent policy by the government, but it was primarily concerned…monitors these social media platforms (Uldam, 2018). As a result, they do not have the privacy of the information as their content is scrutinized. Therefore, Nia states that she has to be cautious about what she writes on social media because she is a public figure; hence she can be harshly judged.

Another factor that is impacting activism is policy challenge. The government of the United States has developed strict policies to restrict activism. Hence, when activists fail to adhere to these policies, they are arrested and taken to court for defying the law.

About the Program

Black Mental Health Alliance is a non-governmental organization. The program aims to help African American adolescents suffering from mental disorders. The program is funded by donors, sponsors, and well-wishers. Despite Nia being a consultant at the organization, she is a volunteer, meaning that she offers her services for free.

Nia urges other people to volunteer their services to the organization. These include therapists and other counselors because the number of people seeking help increases. When asked about how the organization acquires its funds despite being an NGO, Nia states that it has a website that entails the funding details. Hence, those willing to support the program can go to the website and find details of how they can make donations.

Nia states that the program helps 50,000 youths annually, but they are looking forward to increasing the numbers to 100,000 youths annually. However, the organization cannot do so much due to financial constraints. Thus Nia encourages individuals to make donations to increase their services. The organization also needs funds to continue with activism as so much…

Sources Used in Documents:


Elkonin, D., Brown, O., & Naicker, S. (2014). Religion, spirituality, and therapy: Implications for training. Journal of religion and health, 53(1), 119-134

. Klineberg, E., Clark, C., Bhui, K. S., Haines, M. M., Viner, R. M., Head, J., ... & Stansfeld, S. A. (2006). Social support, ethnicity and mental health in adolescents. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 41(9), 755-760.

SAMHSA (n.d). Laws and Regulations. [Online].

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