Press Releases

New CBC Taskforce on Youth Suicide and Mental Health to Launch on April 30

The Congressional Black Caucus Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health, chaired by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, seeks to raise awareness and identify solutions to a growing problem

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Washington, April 24, 2019 | comments

On Tuesday, April 30, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) will launch a new, emergency taskforce focused on the growing problem of suicide and access to mental health care among Black youth. Chaired by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), The CBC Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health will convene experts in Washington, DC and around the country, raise awareness among Members of Congress and staff, and identify legislative recommendations to address this mental health crisis.

In 2018, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics published a report that found that for the first time in the history of such research, the rate of suicides for Black children between the ages of five and 12 has exceeded that of White children, and more than a third of elementary school-aged suicides involved Black children. The taskforce will seek to identify causes and solutions, and will empower a working group of academic and practicing experts led by Dr. Michael Lindsey and the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University, with the goal of developing and producing a report from the Taskforce by the end of 2019. The Taskforce will launch with a panel forum at which members will hear from individuals on that working group.

Members of the Taskforce include:

  • Alma Adams (NC-12)
  • Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-05)
  • Danny Davis (IL-07)
  • Alcee Hastings (FL-20)
  • Jahana Hayes (CT-05)
  • Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
  • Barbara Lee (CA-13)
  • John Lewis (GA-05)
  • Ilhan Omar (MN-05)
  • Ayanna Pressley (MA-07)
  • Frederica Wilson (FL-24)


Launch of the CBC Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health


2325 Rayburn House Office Building

(Committee on Science, Space and Technology)


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Press Conference – 3:00PM

Panel Forum – 3:30PM to 5:00PM


Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman;

Rep. Karen Bass, Chairwoman, Congressional Black Caucus;

Michael A. Lindsey, PhD, MSW, MPH, Executive Director at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University;

Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, CEO, The AAKOMA Project and Center, PLLC, Associate Professor Appointment, Georgetown Psychiatry;

Dr. Sherry Molock, Associate Professor, Clinical Psychology at the George Washington University;

William B. Lawson, MD, PhD, DLFAPA, PA, Consultation Institute for Reducing Disparities Through Research, Education, and Access to Care, and Editor in Chief, Journal of the National Medical Association

Media and cameras are encouraged to RSVP to Courtney Cochran at



 The Congressional Black Caucus was established in 1971 and has a historic 55 members for the 116th Congress, including two senators. Together, the Caucus represents more than 82 million Americans. Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA) is the chair of the caucus.

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