A Call to Prevent Black Youth Suicide

A Call to Prevent Black Youth Suicide

What To Know Today Researchers outline necessary steps to prevent suicide among Black youth. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for Black people between 5 and 17 years old, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And among Black youth 13 years and younger, the suicide rate is about two times higher than that of their white peers. In the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics , researchers outline three major steps to keep Black kids safe: Better understanding of the culturally relevant risk factors — such as exposures to killings by police that may not apply to other racial groups. More research and funding into Black suicidal ideation. Early research suggests that Black youth attempt suicide more often without first reporting suicidal ideation. Leaning on trusted community organizations and messengers — like churches, beauty salons, and barber shops — to normalize suicide screenings and reduce stigma around mental health services. “Because of the lack of culturally sensitive theories, we have little information about how unique race-related stressors may contribute to disparities in suicide rates among Black youth,” the paper reads. A co-author adds : ”We also restate what many others have also argued, it is time for funding agencies to close the gap in research funding for Black scholars in this area.” Related: Last year, The Trace’s Lakeidra Chavis first reported on the steep rise in suicide among Black Chicagoans amid the pandemic, which led to officials’ promise to step in and quell the […]

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