Anxious black girl with crossed arms

Black Youth Suicide: Exploring A Public Health Crisis and the Role of Racial Trauma

12:00pm - June 6, 2023 thru 1:00pm - June 6, 2023 | Timezone: US/Eastern
Collaborating TTC: Central East MHTTC
Registration Deadline:
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Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Black youth and is a serious public health problem. Racial trauma, or race-based traumatic stress, refers to the mental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racial bias, racial discrimination, and racism. Despite the national priorities to decrease racial trauma and focus on suicide prevention specifically among Black youth, the need for additional training and support within this area is needed. While youth of any age, race, ethnicity, or sex can experience suicide risk, from 2009 to 2017, Black youth were the only adolescent racial group for which suicide attempts increased. Thus, there is an urgent need for increased training and attention given to Black youth suicide and its' link to racial trauma. 

This webinar will explore and define a range of suicidal risk characteristics, identify warning signs for adolescent suicide, explain how adolescent suicide risk may present differently for Black youth, and explore research identifying associations between racial trauma and suicide risk. Throughout this training, participants will have opportunities to discuss adolescent suicide risk, explore important clinical considerations, and identify strategies to support Black youth.



•    Identify suicidal risk characteristics, and distinguish from suicide warning signs
•    Define racial trauma and name at least three common race-based stressors for Black youth
•    Identify strategies to help Black youth respond to race-based stressors
•    Identify ways to support youth who have a high number of suicidal risk characteristics


Danielle R. Busby, Ph.D.Danielle Busby, Ph.D. was born in Detroit, MI and raised in the Detroit metropolitan area. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan, and her master’s and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The George Washington University. Currently, Dr. Busby is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). In this role, she primarily serves youth and families experiencing a range of mental health concerns through the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) program. Dr. Busby’s expertise is in trauma-informed assessment and intervention; evidence-based clinical practices; and suicide risk assessment and intervention. She is passionate about decreasing barriers to mental health service use for underserved patient populations and is committed to continuously bridging the gap between research and clinical practice.


Dana Cunningham, Ph.D.Dana Cunningham, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and Faculty Consultant at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Cunningham is the Program Director of the Prince George’s School Mental Health Initiative, which is a school-based mental health program designed to support the emotional and behavioral needs of students in special education. Dr. Cunningham is also the Vice President of Community Outreach and Engagement in Black Mental Wellness. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and completed her doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Dr. Cunningham’s clinical and research interests include trauma, children of incarcerated parents, and increasing access to care for underserved youth.



Health and behavioral health professionals, school staff, community members and advocates, and family members of Black youth