LaToya Moore, a writer and life coach, thought she had lost her son to Chicago’s streets.
“My worst fear? The cops knocking on my door and telling me he was gone,” Moore revealed.
In this WGN-TV Cover Story, Reporter Gaynor Hall and Photojournalist Vincent Tagle share the family’s journey as they fought to get his life back on track.
“I believe a lot of people need to be heard. A lot of people are screaming out for help but you don’t know it,” said DaQuan Dukes, 24.
Earlier this year, a group of youth researchers called Ujima released a report on the mental health challenges facing young men of color in Chicago. Among the findings, they say, trauma is often normalized and young men of color see a deep connection between systemic inequities and mental health, often internalizing the blame.
Community psychologist Dr. Obari Cartman is working to expand what therapy looks like and change the conversation on mental health.
“If you’re just trying to treat depression, anxiety and addiction and don’t understand that from a systems and historical context, then you just blame the individual for not being able to deal with, cope with, and manage a sick system,” said Cartman. “I think the way we exchange funds, the way we make decisions, the whole thing is broken and our young people are just showing us that.”
Moore and Dukes are hoping to team up with schools to share their story with more young people and parents.