Research shows rates of suicide in Black children have increased 73% since 1991. Suicide ideas, plans, and attempts have, in turn, been connected to psychological stress in response to racial discrimination incidents in Black children. In a country where they are seen as older, aggressive, and more promiscuous than their White peers, Black children don't have a space to be that...Kids.
The lack of emotional support for Black children in America is having deadly effects. Black children lack the coping skills to manage racial stress and are using suicidal behavior to cope. Our mission is to save the lives of Black children by using play to help them heal from negative racial experiences.
BMH (Black Mental Health) Connect was created to provide space for Black youth and their caregivers to learn positive coping skills to deal with racial stress and trauma. We believe Black children deserve the time and space to work through the stress of being a Black child in America through fun, laughter, and play-based interventions that inspire real conversations.
The founder of BMH Connect, April Duncan, is a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and understands the therapeutic value of play to help connect with children. Black children, in Ms. Duncan's opinion, benefit from games and activities, that are both fun and helpful for them, when learning better ways to manage heavy and uncomfortable feelings. For more information about Play Therapy, please visit the Association for Play Therapy.
Play Therapy helps:
Play releases endorphins, which help promote overall well-being and assist with feelings of happiness
Having fun with others increases trust, compassion and empathy with others, leading to stronger connections & relationships
Improve social skills
Play helps children learn boundaries, cooperation and how to have appropriate interactions with peers
Encourage Open communication
Play helps break down the walls of communication & gives a relaxed space for kids to talk about difficult feelings