Communities United youth organizer Emily Jade Aguilar works with a group of girls and young women. She said simply having people and place to meet can go a long way toward making young people feel connected to each other and reducing violence.
In collaboration with Lurie Children's Hospital, young researchers with the racial justice organization Communities United conducted a study focused on the mental health and well-being of Black and Brown young men in Chicago. The report titled "Changing the Beat of Mental Health" identifies mental health challenges and provides recommendations on how to cope.
The research — presented Monday at Lurie Children’s in the hopes of securing $20 million to foster youth-led strategies on community healing and bettering mental health in Chicago.
Most young men of color, interviewed by their peers in a recent study, say they face mental health challenges. They also see a deep connection between systemic inequities and mental health, although they often internalize the blame, according to a report being released today titled "Changing the Beat of Mental Health." The research report was compiled primarily by the Ujima Project, a group of young men of color aged 14 to 19 from across the city, in conjunction with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital and social equity organization Communities United.
An intergenerational racial justice organization in Chicago, are working together to center the leadership and voices of Black and Brown young men of color in their ongoing efforts to transform the mental and behavioral healthcare system. Core to this effort is Ujima, a group of young men of color ages 14-21 who have conducted a research study throughout the duration of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of Black and Brown young men in Chicago, culminating in a report titled “Changing the Beat of Mental Health.” Ujima, the group’s name, is a Swahili word meaning collective work and responsibility.
The hospital was host Monday as research was presented by young people for young people. Changing the Beat of Mental Health focuses on young men and boys of color. Monday's virtual and in-person discussion was led by two youth researchers. "Can't nobody tell the youth what to do, so now we just out here no one to help us guide us so we can do better," said Communities United Ujima Youth Researcher D'Angelo Moore.
Un estudio que se llevó a cabo en algunas de las comunidades menos favorecidas reveló que el origen de los problemas de seguridad en los que se ven envueltos los adolescentes es la falta de recursos. La investigación sugiere que los edificios abandonados sean convertidos en centros comunitarios y que se creen programas gratuitos que promuevan el arte, las actividades físicas y los juegos en línea.
With Chicago violence at a fever pitch, a new study looked at the mental health of young men of color. The study, conducted in part by Anne and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, is trying to make health care better for everyone. The study recruited young African American and Hispanic men to conduct their own research, among their peers, to determine what was impacting their mental health the most. They found systematic inequity and the normalization of trauma were the leading factors to a worsening mental state.
New research shows that trauma and inequity lead to worsening mental health in young men of color in Chicago. That's according to the group Ujima. They conducted their research on Black and Brown men in Chicago, including surveys, interviews and focus groups. While 59% would consider professional counseling if given the chance and 62% reported facing challenges with their mental health.
The partnership between Communities United and Lurie Children's Hospital was picked as a finalist in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Racial Equity 2030 Challenge. The Foundation plans to award $90 million to those with "bold solutions to drive an equitable future for all" that will "transform racialized systems where they live."
Communities United, in partnership with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, is the only Chicago-based finalist of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Racial Equity 2030 Challenge, an open call for bold solutions to drive an equitable future for children, families and communities across the globe. Lurie Children’s Hospital and Communities United have been working together for years on issues like mental health and equity.
The plan, “Healing Through Justice: A Community-Led Breakthrough Strategy for Healing-Centered Communities” is a 10-year road map to foster youth-led strategies on community healing that centers youth leadership in creating institutional change on mental health. The medical institution and grassroots organization will bring the plan to scale over the next nine months with a $1 million planning grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Racial Equity 2030 Challenge.