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How Racism Affects the Mental Health of Black Youth

Calhoun is an Adult and Child Psychiatry resident at Yale School of Medicine and the Yale Child Study Center. She is an expert in the mental health effects of anti-Black racism, with a focus on medical racism, and is currently writing a book on the topic

On Sept. 25, 2023, the Biden-Harris administration announced that it will be investing some $200 million in the youth mental health crisis. Since youth mental health was declared a national emergency in 2021, multiple experts, including the U.S. Surgeon General, have cited social media and the COVID-19 pandemic, among other things, as major contributing factors. But what has not been talked about to the same extent, is how anti-Black racism is fueling the youth mental health crisis. Racism has a crucial impact on the mental health of Black youth, and the current mental health system is not equipped to address it.

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