May is Mental Health Month! All kids deserve kind, safe, welcoming places to grow.

Community violence and ongoing racism impact our children’s mental well-being

We are outraged and processing the despair and grief in the wake of Daunte Wright’s death after being shot by a Brooklyn Center police officer. Our deepest sympathy is with Mr. Wright’s family and loved ones.

Daunte’s death adds to the historical trauma experienced by our BIPOC communities resulting from generations of racism.  We hold anger, sadness, and compassion as racist acts continue to be commonplace in our community and nation.

Through our work, we know that ongoing discrimination and racism have a deep and lasting impact on children. The racism and bias embedded in many of our community’s systems – including our current policing models – erode all of our children’s sense of safety and significantly impacts their mental health.

Our kids are experiencing and living with the impact of grief upon grief, without relief. After more than a year in isolation and the trauma of witnessing George Floyd’s murder, along with repeated racialized violence and pending verdict of the Chauvin trail, the mental health of our community has been shattered over and over.

This week, especially, we have heard and felt the palpable fear and dread from children, teens and caregivers who have lost their sense of safety. As we hold their stories, we must create a world where all humanity is valued, nurtured and strengthened.

Amidst the pain, we offer these resources for families struggling with anxiety, depression and trauma: