According to a 2012 study by Lorena Estrada-Martinez of Washington University in St. Louis, daily stress, particularly related to racial discrimination, can increase risk for depressive symptoms and engagement in violent behavior among African Americans transitioning into adulthood (ages 19-25).
To address this health concern, BlackDoctor.org and I have collaborated to bring H.Y.P.E.: Healing Young People thru Empowerment to youth through an online platform.
H.Y.P.E. is a nationally renowned Hip Hop Therapy curriculum that explores topics including depression, atonement, and family traditions through discussing rap songs and completing activities. Over the next few weeks, we will outline some online H.Y.P.E. workgroup topics and share feedback from youth participants ages 17-20.
Transitioning into adulthood has always posed challenges, yet today’s youth are facing obstacles previous generations have not. Factors including high unemployment and rising education costs are causing many young adults to feel they have few options for creating the lives they desire.
In this H.Y.P.E. session, the concept of learned hopefulness was introduced through Drake’s song, “Closer”. Learned hopefulness theory suggests experiences that provide opportunities to establish skills and gain a sense of control counter the tendency to feel overwhelmed by life stressor:
Since starting the H.Y.P.E. curriculum I am excited for future meetings. The first week was about hopefulness and dreams. We listened to a song by Drake called “Closer to My Dreams” and discussed dreams of our own. We also shared obstacles we face in obtaining them. It was just the motivation I needed to not only get back in school but to get a job too. –Jose
Read more about the HYPE program at BlackDoctor.Org.
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