Black teens in New Orleans four times as likely to have PTSD, survey shows

Titled "What Puts Youth At Risk?," the survey noted that nearly 20 percent of the participants showed signs of post-traumatic stress -- a rate four times higher than the national average. It also noted that the nearly 48 percent of participants know someone who has been murdered, and 49 percent worry that they will be shot, stabbed, beaten or murdered themselves.

The IWES is a national non-profit focused on issues related to women of color and their families. With a grant from the Office of Adolescent Health, the group began implementing an Emotional Wellness Screener in 2012 to assess the mental health and well-being of adolescents.

Highlights from the report include:

70% of adolescent participants in the study reported feeling stressed
39% witnessed domestic violence in the last year
20% reported symptoms of PTSD in their lifetime
19% reported suicidal thoughts
29.1% worry they are not loved
16.5 % worry they won't have enough food or adequate housing

Given the high rates of trauma among youth in New Orleans, adequate mental health support does not exist. Ther New Orleans Adolescent Hospital, the sole behavioral health center for children in the city, closed in 2009, and a new facility has not been opened.

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