Posted Sept. 10, 2008 – A significant increase in mental illness and behavioral problems among young African-American males demonstrates the need for new approaches to treating and better understanding the complex challenges facing these youths, according to a study released Tuesday.
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Titled "The Secret Epidemic: Exploring the Mental Health Crisis Affecting Adolescent African-American Males," the study was conducted by Community Voices: Healthcare for the Underserved, an advocacy group based at Morehouse School of Medicine that is seeking to improve health services and access to health care.
In examining mental health problems confronting young Black men, the group found that young Black men’s access to treatment facilities is relatively low. Consequently, treatment strategies must be revamped to address the socioeconomic issues they face.
"Our research found that many young Black males are treatable, but they are going undiagnosed because of failures in America's health-care system," said Dr. Henrie M. Treadwell, director of Community Voices. "Our entire society feels the impact of this failure. Suicides and homicides have increased for this group, and the residual effect is impacting communities across the country. This problem must be addressed."