Normalizing trauma leads to worsened mental health in young Black, Brown men, study says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Lurie Children's Hospital has produced ground breaking research to improve children's lives.

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.

The youth researchers found 66% of those surveyed reported mental health challenges.

"You got a lot of trauma from violence. I feel like it's that negativity which keep us focused on the negative," said Communities United Ujima Youth Researcher Nathaniel Martinez.

Among their recommendations, there is a youth-led project to shape mental health policy and turn some abandoned buildings into resource centers.

"We're learning, sometimes, the kids need to speak for themselves because the adults don't have their point of view," said Lurie Children's Hospital Pritzker Department of Psychiatry Chair Dr. John Walkup.

Moore said it's also about changing perceptions.

"Now we just want to change we want to change our young people. We want to change the way we are viewed as young Black men of color," Moore said.

Martinez said he's involved in the research "so people can better themselves."

Through their advocacy, the youth researchers are healing themselves and hope to help others find support and purpose out of their pain.
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