In 2015, the Child Mind Institute launched the Healthy Brain Network to pursue a bold goal: to seek out biological markers of mental health disorders in the developing brain. Fast-forward to 2020, and the Healthy Brain Network has enrolled over 4,000 participants in this landmark dataset, the largest ever on the developing brain. This dataset is fueling discovery science that will revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of mental health and learning disorders in young people.
But the Healthy Brain Network’s impact on communities in the New York City metropolitan areas has been just as transformative, providing free diagnostic mental health consultations and treatment recommendations to all participants. These consultations can be invaluable, particularly for communities with limited access to mental health resources. One in five children struggles with a mental health or learning disorder, but less than two thirds ever get help.
Access to care is even more restricted in Black communities. This fact has inspired the partnership between Coco + Breezy x Zenni and the Child Mind Institute. Zenni, the online leader in affordable prescription glasses has collaborated with Coco and Breezy, twin sister DJs and eyewear designers to create Planet CB, a capsule collection of prescription, blue light blocking eyewear for kids. Planet CB by Coco and Breezy x Zenni is all about individuality, positivity, self-expression, and helping kids embrace all their unique traits. Each of the eight eyeglass styles is available in multiple colorways and named with a unique affirmation such as “I am Powerful” and “I am Grateful”. A portion of proceeds from Planet CB will go directly to the Healthy Brain Network to provide greater access to mental health services and resources for youth of Black communities.
“Mental health was usually an unspoken subject as there is a stigma in the Black community,” say Coco and Breezy. “It was important for us to partner with the Child Mind Institute to ensure that youth of Black communities have greater access than we had, to mental health services and resources.”
Studies like the Healthy Brain Network will lead to the treatment discoveries of the future, a central goal of the Child Mind Institute research program. But, as the Healthy Brain Network shows, collecting that data can also give kids and families access to the help they deserve today.
Visit healthybrainnetwork.org to learn more about our community research study bringing mental health resources to underserved communities and benefiting children everywhere