ADHD, Other Mental Health Conditions Examined in Blacks; Indianapolis Group Seeks To Raise Awareness
When "undiagnosed and untreated, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or bipolar disorder can be devastating, particularly for black adolescents," the Indianapolis Star reports. According to the Star, one in five U.S. children has ADHD, which can create problems with attentiveness, overactivity or impulsivity, or all three.
William Jones, an Indianapolis-based psychiatrist, said children with ADHD who have not been treated before age 15 are three times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol. In addition, 50% "of all incarcerated males meet diagnostic criteria for ADHD, and 80% of all high-school dropouts are ADHD," he added. For bipolar disorder, there are few guidelines available for treatment in children, leaving psychologists to apply adult standards that can cause "inconsistent and potentially devastating results," Randal Horton, a psychologist and president of the Indiana chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists, said. Horton added, "The increase of illnesses such as ADHD and bipolar disorder among black youths is a problem that needs to be addressed."
The group is seeking to "educate the minority community about mental health issues," Horton added. Annually, the group holds a reception to connect minority psychology students with professional psychologists, resulting in mentor relationships and research opportunities. The organization also facilitates a forum on mental health issues that is held in conjunction with Black Mental Health Month (Mullen, Indianapolis Star, 10/31).