We at the Child Mind Institute are horrified by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many more. We are gratified by the thousands of peaceful protesters across the nation demanding justice for black Americans. And we are hopeful when we see chiefs of police taking a knee to pray with these protesters, then marching with them and starting a real dialogue.

Racial injustice exacts a quiet and brutal toll on the mental health of black families and children. The psychological stress of experiencing racism is too often invisible. This burden starts before birth and extends across generations, and contributes to the disproportionate prevalence of untreated mental health challenges within black communities as well as the devastation of the school-to-prison pipeline.

At the Child Mind Institute, our mission is to promote and protect children’s mental health; this cannot be done without confronting the mental health costs of a legacy of racism and disenfranchisement. We stand in solidarity with all people and families affected and offer support where we are helpful.

We are dedicated to working together by promoting diverse clinical perspectives, expanding our programs by building mental health capacity in under-resourced schools, and creating accessible and culturally sensitive pathways to mental health information and care for underserved communities.

Together, we can and must do better. Parents should start an ongoing conversation about racism with their children. Do not wait for the next horrible incident. Educate yourself and consider some of the many resources available to guide allies in anti-racist work. If you need help, we are here for you.

Like mental health disorders, racism thrives in silence. It is time to speak up.