Powerful skills to help you heal from racial stress and trauma, resist racism in your day-to-day life, and thrive.
If you’ve experienced or witnessed racism or discrimination, you may feel stressed, angry, sad, or anxious. You may have trouble focusing on school or enjoying time with friends. And you may even have moments when your heart races and you fear something bad will happen. You should know that you are not alone, and what happened to you isn’t your fault. Most importantly, there are tools you can use to work through these difficult emotions, regain your confidence, and move forward from your experience. This workbook can help guide you, step by step.
Written by a team of experts in Black mental health and wellness and grounded in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), this workbook offers evidence-based strategies to help you manage emotions in the face of race-based stress due to microaggressions, implicit bias, overt racism, and vicarious racism. You’ll also learn to find strength in your racial and cultural identity, and gain the skills needed to resist racism and thrive.
You’ll gain tools to help you:
• Name and define your experience
• Explore how racial stress can impact your thoughts, feelings, and behavior
• Create a “game plan” for responding to racism
• Apply what you’ve learned out in the world
With this workbook, you’ll see that you are not alone in your experience, and will find stress-relieving strategies you can draw on throughout your lifetime to stay well in body and mind. Finally, you’ll learn tips for navigating discussions about race and experiences of discrimination, so you can be empowered to stand up for what’s right and contribute to an antiracist society.
In these increasingly challenging times, kids and teens need mental health resources more than ever. With more than 1.6 million copies sold worldwide, Instant Help Books are easy to use, proven-effective, and recommended by therapists.
“At a time when Black students continue to deal with implicit and explicit racism inside and outside of schools, this is a much-needed resource that helps them to understand, heal, and act in the face of racial stress and trauma. This invaluable workbook has powerful tools, resources, and strategies for anyone working with Black students who want to see them thrive and experience joy.”
—Tyrone C. Howard, Pritzker Family Endowed Professor in the School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA
“This practical, uplifting guide provides evidence-based tools and realistic examples to help Black teens understand and cope with racial stress.”
—Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPP, professor of psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine, and coauthor of Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice
“Post 2020, the impact of racialized trauma has been made more visible. This is a valuable workbook for all clinicians working with Black adolescents and emerging adults struggling to navigate the psychological impact of racism on themselves and their communities.”
—Frances Y. Adomako, PhD, vice president of the WELLS Healing Center, senior clinician at Radical Healing Collaborative, and APA Minority Fellow
“I recommend this workbook for teens, teachers, parents, and anyone working with youth from minoritized backgrounds. Rooted in current psychological research, Healing Racial Stress Workbook for Black Teens is a powerful tool for supporting youth in the identification and deployment of cultural, social, and cognitive assets to cope with racism. The authors include relatable examples, accessible language, and concrete strategies to steer youth of color to healthy coping and resilience.”
—Stephanie J. Rowley, PhD, developmental psychologist, and dean of the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia
“Grounded in research and theory, Healing Racial Stress Workbook for Black Teens gives adolescents the tools and skills needed to navigate challenging racialized times. The authors reflect the critical need for Black teens to not only understand racism, but also identify its impact while employing strategies of resistance. Activities are intentionally designed for teens to discern race-related stressors, as they build on their strengths and become empowered young people.”
—Brett Johnson Solomon, PhD, associate professor, and chair of the child studies department at Santa Clara University
“A refreshingly engaging and evidence-informed resource for young people who have felt confused, angry, or powerless in the face of racial trauma. This workbook equips Black teens to navigate the nuances of managing the stress of racism while drawing closer to cultural pride and wholeness. I’m confident any teen that completes the activities in this workbook will discover the joy of healing and be inspired to make the world better!”
—Isaiah B. Pickens, PhD, CEO of iOpening Enterprises, and former assistant director of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCTSS)
“This workbook is an excellent guide for Black youth to learn ways to manage and move through racial stress and trauma. The authors include the perfect combination of information, reflection, and activities to equip Black adolescents with a repertoire of strategies for navigating the complexities of racism in ways that honor themselves in the process. This is an essential resource for Black youth and all who care for them.”
—Sharon Lambert, PhD, professor of clinical-community psychology at The George Washington University
“As the aunt of Black teenagers and an educator who has dedicated her career to improving academic outcomes for Black children, I am keenly aware of the stressors adolescents face—bravely, headfirst, and often with little support. Healing Racial Stress Workbook for Black Teens finally provides this support. The resources and activities in this workbook create opportunities for Black adolescents to celebrate their identity, identify help in their communities, and examine the experiences and feelings they have yet to be able to name, though they feel their impact. This is a powerful workbook every Black adolescent should have access to.”
—Miah Daughtery, EdD, vice president of Content Advocacy-Literacy at NWEA, Chair of 826DC Board of Directors, and past middle school and high school English teacher
About the Authors:
Jessica S. Henry, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in Washington, DC; and Georgia. She is cofounder and vice president of program development and evaluation for the Black Mental Wellness, Corp.; and founder and CEO of Community Impact: Consultation & Psychological Services—a trauma-informed organization whose mission is to provide trauma-informed services to individuals and organizations affected by traumatic events. Henry is current senior director of behavioral health for one of Washington, DC’s largest federally qualified health centers; and was previous clinical director of a level-five close security male prison, and Georgia’s largest youth homeless shelter. Overall, Henry is passionate about the mental health of individuals in Black and under-resourced communities, and has specialized in increasing access to treatment and providing the highest quality of evidence-based mental health treatment services to underserved youth, families, and adults exposed to traumatic events (e.g., community violence, abuse, neglect). She received her BS from Howard University, MA from Columbia University, and PhD in clinical psychology from The George Washington University. She is from the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. For more information about Henry, please visit www.blackmentalwellness.com or www.impactthecommunity.com. She can also be found on Instagram @BlackMentalWellness or @CommunityImpact_CP.
Farzana T. Saleem, PhD, received her PhD in clinical-community psychology, and is an assistant professor in the graduate school of education at Stanford University. Her research examines the influence of racial stressors and culturally relevant practices on adolescents’ psychological health and adjustment, with a focus on understanding the process and contextual nuance of how youth learn about race and respond to racism (often termed, ethnic-racial socialization) across families and schools. She is codeveloper of the group-based intervention, TRANSFORM, designed to heal racial stress and trauma among youth of color. Saleem utilizes research to develop applied tools and interventions that promote the mental health and development of Black adolescents and other youth of color, as well as those within their surrounding contexts. She is from Atlanta, GA; and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information about Saleem, visit www.farzanasaleem.com, or follow her on social media @drftsaleem on Instagram and @dr_ftsaleem on Twitter.
Dana L. Cunningham, PhD, is a licensed psychologist, and cofounder and vice president of community outreach and engagement at Black Mental Wellness, Corp. She is also program director at the National Center for School Mental Health in the department of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Cunningham is passionate about increasing access to culturally responsive and antiracist mental health care for underserved youth, and uplifting the voices of marginalized populations. Cunningham also authored a children’s book, A Day I’ll Never Forget, to support children who have been impacted by the incarceration of a loved one. Additionally, Cunningham owns a private practice in the greater Washington, DC area; where she resides. Cunningham received a BA in psychology from Spelman College, and obtained her MA and PhD in clinical psychology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. To learn more about Cunningham, please visit www.blackmentalwellness.com.
Nicole L. Cammack, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in Maryland and Washington, DC. She is founder, president, and CEO of Black Mental Wellness, Corp.; and she also owns Healing Generations Psychological Services and Consultation Center, LLC., a private practice in Washington, DC. Cammack received her bachelor’s degree from Howard University, and her PhD in clinical psychology from The George Washington University. Throughout her career, she has continually focused on mental health issues specific to the Black community, and identifying ways to address the cultural and systemic issues that impact Black mental health and wellness. She currently lives in Washington, DC. For more about Cammack, please visit www.blackmentalwellness.com or www.healinggenerationscenter.com.
Danielle R. Busby, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist; and cofounder and vice president of professional relations, and liaison of Black Mental Wellness, Corp. She is assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Busby’s research and clinical expertise are centered on youth suicide prevention and intervention, decreasing barriers to care for underserved populations, and child trauma—including racial trauma among Black youth. She is passionate about continuously bridging the gap between research and clinical practice, and committed to amplifying and supporting marginalized voices through education, clinical training, and healing. Busby was born in Detroit, MI; and raised in Southfield, MI. She received her BA in psychology from the University of Michigan, and her master’s and PhD in clinical-community psychology from The George Washington University. For more about Busby, please visit www.blackmentalwellness.com or www.drdaniellebusby.com.
Howard C. Stevenson, PhD, is Constance Clayton Professor of urban education and professor of Africana studies in the Human Development and Quantitative Methods Division of the graduate school of education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is executive director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative.