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Youth of Color Grapple with Online Bullying and Lack of Representation: The AAKOMA Project Sheds Light

Recognizing National PoC Mental Health Awareness Month and U.S. Surgeon General calls for Youth Social Media Safety

In Honor of Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Amplifying the unique mental health experiences of Youth of Color during the month of July, The AAKOMA Project has just released a trailblazing, culturally responsive, data-driven brief on social media use, Youth and Young Adults of Color and mental health. The report entitled Representation Matters: Exploring Social Media Experiences and Mental Health of Youth and Young Adults of Color is a follow up delving further into the 2022 State of Mental Health of Youth of Color Full Report released in May 2023. Building upon their previous success with an all-encompassing analysis of mental health in this demographic, the latest findings encompass a diverse and equitable sample of nearly 3000 young individuals ages 13-25. This timely release aligns with the U.S. Surgeon General's appeal to parents, caregivers, mentors, educators, policymakers, and social media companies to scrutinize the detrimental effects of social media on the mental health and well-being of developing minds. An essential resource, the brief serves as a catalyst for change and progress in addressing the unique mental health needs of Youth and Young Adults of Color with an intersectional lens.

The AAKOMA Project is a research-centered nonprofit grounded by collaborations with Youth and Communities of Color to ensure scientifically grounded, culturally-relevant, and effective interventions. The new brief reveals that 44% of Young People of Color feel they do not see enough content creators who represent them online, and that 1 in 4 have been or are bullied online about their racial identity. The report highlights rarely reported insights for marginalized youth and young adults and shows that online bullying is a staggering issue, with race being the most reported factor in online bullying behaviors. This report is a catalyst to encourage platforms, parents/caregivers, creators and others, to center inclusivity and belonging and seek new insights from marginalized young people and content creators about ways to reduce harms and create solutions.

Dr. Alfiee, the founder of The AAKOMA Project, emphasizes the importance of the brief's findings in protecting Young People of Color stating that, "The fact that it has taken this long for our field to center the unique mental health needs and well-being of Youth of Color (recognizing intersectionality in identity) is disappointing, yet I am encouraged by The AAKOMA Project's research focus on social media and mental health. Our innovative efforts with this brand-new brief help to ensure that the voices of young people from marginalized backgrounds are heard."

About The AAKOMA Project

The AAKOMA Project, founded by Psychologist & Researcher Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, is a research-centered nonprofit intentional in meeting the mental health needs of Youth and Young Adults of Color. Established in 1997 and incorporated in 2019, The AAKOMA Project envisions a world where every child, teen and young adult (inclusive of all points of diversity) feels the freedom to live unapologetically and authentically within an environment that allows them to rise and thrive. Therefore, we operate at three levels - raising consciousness among individuals, empowering people via providing accessible tools for ongoing management, and changing systems to receive youth and provide better care in the mental health space. For more information, please visit aakomaproject.org.

Media Inquiries:
Lexy Fields, Senior Executive Liaison, AAKOMA Project
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 571-488-5597

SOURCE The AAKOMA Project, Inc.

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