Boston College Professor Ed-Dee Williams wanted to know what the depression rates for Black autistic youth looked like, “given there’s communication deficits, they experience bullying, higher incarceration rates, and higher suicide rates,” he said. So, he researched even further.
He’s collaborating with SIMmersion, a company that’s produced similar programs virtual role-playing conversation training for autistic people that Williams has worked on with his mentors.
Williams said from his research, symptoms of depression in Black youth can look different than other races, so they’ve based the program on understanding those symptoms. His goal is if youth can learn the language to talk about mental health then they’ll be able to communicate better about it.