Juvenile Wellness

African American juveniles today face many challenges that result in poor decisions and lead to high-risk behavior

There are many challenges to providing appropriate health care to our youth. African American children growing up poor are at greater risk of disrupted physiological functioning and depressed academic achievement as well as chronic diseases.

The most common major chronic diseases of African American youth are:


Diabetes mellitus



Dental disease

Mental Illness


Sickle-cell anemia

Cystic fibrosis

Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder

A variety of genetic and other birth defects

African American youth also struggle with high teen pregnancy rates, alcohol and drug addiction, as well as limited access to health care.

Support Is Important

The Balm In Gilead seeks to mobilize the faith community and raise awareness of the issues affecting Juvenile Wellness among African American Adolescents and Infants via the capacity development of African American congregations to become an integral partner in:

Educating African American Juveniles and parents about wellness and health care.
Educating the African American community on behaviors that support proper juvenile health care.
Increasing awareness about the need for intervention and routine wellness check ups.
How to effectively support Juveniles and their parents in obtaining effective healthcare.
Provide training and information to healthcare & public health professionals, regarding specific issues affecting Juvenile wellness among African American Juveniles.
Develop culturally tailored, faith-based tools and resources to be utilized by the health ministries to raise awareness about Juvenile wellness specifically affecting African American Juveniles within their congregations and communities.