August 18, 2022 | Partner Showcases

Partner Showcase: The AAKOMA Project

Report Release: State of Mental Health for Youth of Color

Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, renowned psychologist, Upswing partner and founder of The AAKOMA Project, spearheaded the inaugural report for the State of Mental Health for Youth of Color (SOMHYOC), a study for young people ages 13 to 25 with almost 3,000 participants to examine the current state of their mental health. Many studies have examined the mental health of youth in general, but The AAKOMA Project felt it was important and necessary to study young People of Color from a variety of different backgrounds.

The study covers five specific areas:
(1) Major Mental Health Concerns
(2) Use of Mental Health Services,
(3) Exposure to Racial Trauma,
(4) Impact of COVID-19,
(5) Support Circles and Resilience.

Unlike many other studies, SOMHYC made a special effort to have a relatively equal representation of races in order to equitably assess and lay some much-needed groundwork to support all youth and meet them where they are.

There are many factors in today’s world that affect the mental health of young people. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the future for generations to come and many experienced the effects in different ways. Young People of Color were more likely to be affected themselves or have a loved one with COVID-19. They are more likely to experience social, racial and climate injustice in addition to the strong stigma against seeking treatment that is common among families of color.

What’s Next?

The AAKOMA Project felt it was urgent to quantify these effects and compile them into a comprehensive report that will be scaled for the future with annual reports being generated to keep a pulse on this pressing issue.

Dr. Alfiee and The AAKOMA Project seek to inject truth and hope into the mental health community so that more resources can be allocated to help those who suffer in silence.

Return to News