Why Black Students’ Mental Health Is Suffering

The pandemic and protests are hurting mental health like never before. And Black students feel the brunt of it.

Rainier Harris


Photo: GoodLifeStudio/Getty Images

As the dual forces of the Covid-19 pandemic and racial justice protests persist, another stressor is being added to the lives of young people across the country: school reopening. A June 2020 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that anxiety symptoms were three times as prevalent as those reported in late 2019 and depression was four times higher for the same period. According to reporting from the New York Times based on the survey, the mental health effects of the coronavirus pandemic have been felt most keenly by young adults ages 18 to 24.

Black students face the unique challenge of being disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and with the backdrop of racial justice protests continuing across the nation, we’re left to wonder if schools are offering the support needed for them to thrive.

I spoke with three Black students about their experiences.

Asha Hassan-Nooli, 19, sophomore at The New School in New York City