The following resources have been gathered from the collective expertise of staff from the NYU McSilver Institute to share advice, research and training for anyone who serves vulnerable communities or wishes to understand how trauma, stress, resilience and mental health trends impact all who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic—but particularly youth, communities of color and those living in poverty.
NYU McSilver Resources for Families and Caregivers
NYU McSilver Research on Mental Health and Vulnerable Communities
Study: Self-Reported Suicide Attempts Rising In Black Teens As Other Groups Decline
Adding to what is known about the growing crisis of suicide among American teens, a team led by researchers at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University have uncovered several troubling trends during the period of 1991-2017, among Black high school students, in particular.
Based on the study data, self-reported suicide attempt rates for Black adolescents rose 73% over the study period of 1991-2017. By comparison they fell 7.5 % in White adolescents, fell 11.4% in Hispanic teens, fell 56% in Asian teens and fell 4.8% in American Indian/Alaska Native teens.
Their findings were published in the November 2019 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, under the title, “Trends of Suicidal Behaviors among High School Students in the United States: 1991-2017.”
Emergency Taskforce on Suicide
Report: Black Youth Suicide Rates Rising, Defying Historic Trends
The historical suicide rate gap between Black and White youth is narrowing by some measures; and among the youngest, Black children actually have the highest rates of suicide.
On December 17, 2019, the Congressional Black Caucus’s Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health released a report, “Ring the Alarm: the Crisis of Black Youth Suicide in America,” outlining the state of Black youth mental health and detailed policy recommendations for consideration by Congress. The report was developed and produced by the task force’s working group, led by Dr. Michael A. Lindsey, Executive Director of the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research.
Federal, State and City Resources for Coping
If you are finding it tough to cope right now and need to talk to someone in New York City, reach out to NYC Well to talk, text or chat with a mental health counselor. It’s free and confidential. Their website also contains a mental wellness app library and lists additional services you can use.
New York State has set up a special COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline. Anyone experiencing mental or emotional distress related to the coronavirus emergency can call 1-844-863-9314 between 8:00AM and 10:00PM, 7 days a week.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for people and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. They provide referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. at 800-273-TALK (8255).
The National Domestic Violence Hotline has expert advocates who are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone in the U.S. who is experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Communities of Focus
Most of all, take some time to consider people most vulnerable to the coronavirus or economic disruption, and how you could check on or support at-risk people in your life. The McSilver Institute shares sympathy and hopes with all first responders and frontline healthcare workers, people with chronic health conditions, people without access to stable housing, incarcerated people, migrants, students, older individuals, infrastructure and municipal employees, gig workers and those burdened with food insecurity or hunger, among others.
About NYU McSilver Institute
The McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University is committed to creating new knowledge about the root causes of poverty, developing evidence-based interventions to address its consequences, and rapidly translating research findings into action through policy and practice.