Hannah Lucas, a 16-year-old high school student from Cummings, Georgia, has overcome a lot. At 15-years-old, she was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a chronic illness that causes one to faint. Her symptoms started between the ages of 12 and 13.

“When I was in ninth grade, I started passing out. Basically, it just means that I have very low blood volume and low blood pressure,” she said. “I was passing out so often, kids started bullying me, I was getting sexually harassed and even being threatened.”

Her illness — and the ridicule from her classmates that followed — took a toll on the teen, leading to anxiety, depression and an eating disorder. She says her condition caused her to miss about 200 classes during her freshman year of high school.

To deal with her pain, she started to self-harm and later attempted suicide when her mother came into her room, held her and stopped Hannah before tragedy struck.

“If my mom didn’t come to my room that night, I wouldn’t be here,” Hannah said.

Mental health in the Black community is often swept under the rug or remedied with ineffective treatments. Consequently, suicide rates among Black youth have increased greatly over the past several years.

Read more at AfroTech.