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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – Rising #Suicide Attempts Among #Black Youth Prompts #MentalHealth Discussion

by Simone Jameson

#Mentalhealthexperts are stressing proactivity and vigilance among #AfricanAmerican community members, after revealing statistics that show an uptick in #suicide attempts among #Black #youth.

Statistics from the #NationalFoundationforSuicidePrevention indicate that #suicide attempts among #AfricanAmerican children ages thirteen and under increased by seventy three percent from 1991 to 2017. Twice as high compared with attempted #suicide rates among Caucasian children.

In Southwest Georgia, experts cite limited access to quality #mentalhealthcare, #stigma around #mentalhealth, and perceived #racism from healthcare providers as contributing factors.

“Historically and for good reason, there’s been #stigma and medical distrust within the #Black community that contributes to disparities in the #mentalhealth of #Black children. The families, the patients, the children…their relationship is negatively impacted by perceived #racism and discrimination.” said Roland Behm of the Georgia Chapter of the #NationalFoundationforSuicidePrevention. “If you mix the two you can see…the lack of #mentalhealthcareproviders with the historical mistrust and #stigma, you can see how that can come together to create a difficult environment for those people who may be seeking help but might not know where to turn.”

Behm challenges residents to create caring, compassionate and connected communities for youngsters.

“Part of it is the environment that we can create in terms of greater acceptance, willingness to listen, willingness to ask questions…if you have a neighbor or friend that you’re concerned about – to be able to discuss it with them,” he went on to say. “We also need to be more forceful advocates, both for individual care as well as broadly #mentalhealth care among all those who need it.”

Those struggling with suicidal thoughts are urged to call the #NationalSuicidePreventionHotline at 800-273-8255. #Mentalhealth resources are available at AFSP.org and on the #AmericanFoundationforSuicidePrevention #Facebook page.

July is minority #mentalhealth month.

#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

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