- June 5, 2020
- Jennifer Salerno
Talking with youth about topics like racism and discrimination can be difficult, especially when we as adults are still working on our own knowledge and understanding. But these conversations are critical. Part of being a medical professional is being an ally to youth, and that means understanding the social determinants of health that are impacting them.
“Racism is a social determinant of health that has a profound impact on the health status of children, adolescents, emerging adults, and their families. Although progress has been made toward racial equality and equity, the evidence to support the continued negative impact of racism on health and well-being through implicit and explicit biases, institutional structures, and interpersonal relationships is clear.”American Academy of Pediatrics
Feeling heard is critical for opening youth up to accepting support. And our youth need our support now more than ever. To echo Robert Boyd, President, School-Based Health Alliance, we can’t go “back to normal”, normal was not a good place, we have an opportunity to change. Help be a part of that change.
As we all continue to learn and grow together to help combat social inequities, we want to do our part in the sharing of information. Below is a snapshot of the profound effects discrimination can have on youth, based on aggregate data from the Rapid Adolescent Prevention Screening© for Public Health (RAAPS-PH) over the last two years (June, 2018 – June, 2020). RAAPS-PH uncovers chronic exposure to social and environmental stressors (such as hunger, homelessness, teen pregnancy and discrimination) that threaten healthy brain, cognitive and social-emotional development.