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Black and White Portrait

The Full Story

Culturally Responsive Interventions

Our Mission

Recent trends in youth suicidality have raised urgent questions about mental health support, especially among Black youth. We aim to develop, implement, and evaluate culturally responsive mental health interventions in the Portland area. Our focus is on strengthening protective factors within the community rather than solely concentrating on risk factors.



The Crisis Among Black Youth: Disrupted Trends in Youth Suicidality

The concept of "Black life making" involves the ways Black individuals nurture freedom through self-definition, self-care, and resistance. Despite these efforts, rising and underreported suicide rates among Black youth are a pressing concern, with rates twice as likely compared to white youth.

Startling Statistics

  • Suicide rates among Black youth rose from 2.55 per 100,000 in 2007 to 4.82 per 100,000 in 2017.

  • Black youth under 13 are twice as likely to die by suicide, especially Black males aged 5 to 11.

  • From 2018 to 2021, suicides among Black individuals aged 10-24 increased by 37%.



The need for culturally responsive approaches is urgent. Studies indicate that acknowledging the unique contexts of BIPOC youth leads to better mental health outcomes.

Apply to be a fellow today!

Research Questions

Our project seeks to answer the following:

  1. Impact of Culturally Responsive Interventions: How do these interventions affect mental health and suicide rates among Black youth in the Portland area?

  2. Role of Community and Education: What role do community ties and alternative forms of education play in mental health?

  3. Reconnection to Ancestral Practices: How does reconnecting to ancestral practices enhance resilience and well-being?


Dissemination & Impact

Academic & Policy Outreach

  • Publications: Articles in journals focusing on mental health, public health, and social work.

  • Goal: Advocate for policy changes specific to Black youth suicidality.

Professional Development

  • Activities: Workshops, seminars, webinars for educators and mental health professionals.

  • Objective: Build a network committed to culturally responsive interventions.

Public Engagement

  • Tools: Documentary, graphic novel, audiobook focused on BIPOC youth resilience.

  • Goal: Raise awareness and inspire action on youth suicidality.

By leveraging multiple platforms and adopting a comprehensive approach, we aim to drive meaningful change tailored to the unique needs of BIPOC youth.


Research Methodology

We examine BIPOC youth suicide prevention in three key phases:

Phase 1: Planning & Research (Months 1-6)

  • Goal: Understand the landscape; develop trust and decolonial prevention methods.

  • Activities: Healing sessions, community needs assessment.

  • Deliverable: Intervention + Research Plan.

Phase 2: Implementation (Months 6-18)

  • Goal: Execute the program; conduct ongoing evaluations.

  • Activities: Follow Phase 1 plan, adjust as necessary.

  • Deliverable: Preliminary Evaluation.

Phase 3: Evaluation & Next Steps (Months 12-24)

  • Goal: Assess effectiveness; identify improvements.

  • Activities: Surveys, interviews, focus groups.

  • Deliverable: Final Evaluation + Recommendations.

Next Steps

We call for a collective effort among researchers, clinicians, policymakers, community leaders, and Black youth to address these urgent issues. Through a focus on protective factors and cultural relevance, we seek to establish a more effective approach to suicide prevention among Black youth. Click here to apply to be a fellow today!



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