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Women of Color and Mental Health: From Silence to Solutions for Success and Resilience

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Unacknowledged and untreated mental health issues sap the potential of too many girls and women, disrupting their educational trajectories and limiting their ability to achieve their dreams. This can translate into a major loss of learning and lifetime potential: in short, a loss of future leaders.

Women of color suffer disproportionately from the kinds of adverse life experiences that can lead to depression, anxiety disorders, and toxic levels of chronic stress. New mothers of color, notably, have a rate of postpartum depression that is about two to three times higher than the rate for all new mothers. This vast disparity reflects major gaps in both screening and treatment for mental health issues among women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Please join the Center for American Progress for a panel discussion on how racism, cultural stereotypes, economic insecurity, gender discrimination, stigma, and shame all impact the mental health of women of color, preventing them from getting the support and treatment they deserve. We will discuss concrete ways to make our schools more responsive to the needs of girls of color, explore how public policy can reduce toxic stress in families and communities; and share success stories from programs and policies that have a proven track record of helping women of color with mental health challenges recover and thrive.