Trauma and the African American Community

Those who suffer the pain of trauma have a hard task at hand, too. They must be willing to feel their own pain and share it with others. Although whatever traumatized them is not their fault, it is their responsibility to get whatever help they need to heal. They must take the time to allow their pain to come forth, to hold it, to acknowledge it. They must be willing to accept the help and support of others, and to reject seemingly easy fixes: addiction, denial, blaming. All of these responses to trauma end up perpetuating it. This is not a brief process or an easy one. But it is the foundation for the healing of trauma at both the individual and community levels.

Hicks-Ray, Denyse. The Pain Didn’t Start Here: Trauma and Violence in the African American Community


Adolescent gang members and mental health (2)

The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in detained youth is greater in comparison to the counterparts in the community (60–70% versus 20–25%). Youth who are detained have increased rates of psychiatric co-morbidity; ethnic and gender differences have been identified.

There are higher rates of psychosis, anxiety, antisocial personality disorder, suicide attempts, alcohol dependence and drug dependence in young adult gang members in comparison to violent and non-violent men; however, both gang members and violent men had a lower prevalence of depression.