Content note: This piece contains depiction of self-harm, suicidal ideation, and trauma.
The first time I watched blood spill from my wrist, I was 12 years old. All these years later, I can’t remember the exact catalyst that made me start cutting, but I do remember my life at home: toxic and helpless from many different angles.
I would not call myself a happy child or teenager and, as with many matters of mental health and emotional instability in the black community, I dealt with it by sweeping it under the rug.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, the African American population is 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health problems compared with the general population.