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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – #Black Youth #Suicide Rates Rising, Defying Historic Trends: Report


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Congressional task force report—led by NYU’s Michael A. Lindsey—finds glaring racial disparities in #mentalhealth treatment nationally.

The gap between #suicide-related rates among #Black youth and historically higher rates among White youth is narrowing, and glaring racial disparities in #mentalhealth treatment remain, according to a report released by a Congressional task force.

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

“Alarming trends among #Black youth have been overlooked as America grapples with rising #suicide rates,” said the task force’s research lead Michael A. Lindsey, executive director of the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research.

The working group of researchers and experts helped produce the new report by the Congressional #Black Caucus’s Emergency Taskforce on #Black Youth #Suicide and #MentalHealth. Chaired by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, the task force was formed in April to explore the causes of and solutions to increasing rates of #suicide among #Black children and #teenagers.

“The historical #suicide rate gap between #Black and #White youth is narrowing by some measures; and among the youngest, #Black #children actually have the highest rates of #suicide,” said Lindsey. “With this report, we are ringing the alarm on a growing #mentalhealth crisis among #Black youth and calling attention to the need for more research funding; #mentalhealthprofessionals in schools; and local, state and federal attention.”

Titled “Ring the Alarm: the Crisis of Black Youth Suicide in America,” the report includes a research section summarizing the current state of studies about #Black youth, #suicide and suicidal behaviors. It provides details about risk factors, protective factors, #mentalhealth service usage, #stigma and other factors that may influence the trends that researchers are seeing.

The report also calls for increased funding for research relating to #Black youth #mentalhealthandsuicide through #NationalInstitutesofHealth (NIH) and #NationalInstituteofMentalHealth (NIMH) funding, as well as increased funding and resources for #Black researchers. #Black scientists—those most closely connected to this population—are 10 percentage points less likely than White scientists to be awarded NIH research funding.

Lindsey was the lead researcher of a study published in the November 2019 issue of Pediatrics. Based on the study data, self-reported #suicide attempts rose by 73% between 1991-2017 for #Black high school students who took the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, while injuries by attempt rose by 122% for #Black adolescent #boys. Prior research led by Jeffrey Bridge of Ohio State University, which is cited in the task force report, revealed that the #suicide rate for #Black children 5-12 is roughly twice that of #White #children of the same age group.

A number of trends of increasing #suicide rates among #Black youth are noted in the report.  In youth ages 10-19, #suicide was the second leading cause of death and in 2017 – over 3,000 youth died by #suicide in this age group, and the #Black youth #suicide rate rose from 2.55 per 100,000 in 2007 to 4.82 per 100,000 in 2017. Meanwhile, Black youth under 13 years are two times more likely to die by suicide and when comparing by sex, and #Black #males, 5 to 11 years, are more likely to die by #suicide compared to their #White peers. Finally, according to the report, the #suicide death rate among #Black youth has been found to be increasing faster than any other racial/ethnic group.”

Alongside the report, Congresswoman Watson Coleman announced the pending introduction of a comprehensive legislative package aimed at addressing youth #mentalhealth — in communities of color and well beyond — titled The Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act of 2019It will include new and existing legislative proposals to increase the amount of research relating to #Black youth #mentalhealthandsuicide through the #NationalInstitutesofHealth and the #NationalInstituteofMentalHealth, particularly research undertaken by minority researchers—as well as increase funding for and direct the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to study #mentalhealth disparities in racial and ethnic minority groups.


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