#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – Shatter The Myths About #Suicide And Kids Of Color | Expert Opinion


#Doctors from the #AmericanPsychiatricAssociation say that #medicalprofessionals and researchers must rededicate themselves to ensuring that young #peopleofcolor receive #mentalhealthservices.

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Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10 to 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
#Suicide is the second leading cause of death among #youth aged 10 to 19, according to the #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention (#CDC).

#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

It’s time to shatter the pernicious myth that #suicide is not a concern among #youthofcolor. Though historically more prevalent among white #Americans, recent figures show an alarming rise in suicides among #Black #youth and other #youthofcolor in the #UnitedStates. A new study published online on Sept. 8 in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry finds the #suicide rate among #Black #girls increased by 6.6% each year between 2003 and 2017, more than twice the rate among #Black #boys. The #suicide rate among #AmericanIndian/Alaska Native #youth was more than three times that of #white #youth in 2019.

In 2019, one in five U.S. #adolescents aged 12 to 17 had either a substance use disorder or major #depression. Conditions such as these can affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, or behavior. Any #mentalillness or substance use disorder can alter a person’s health, and can sometimes lead to #suicide.

#Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among #youth aged 10 to 19, according to the #CDC. Data from the #CDC’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System show that nearly one in five high schoolers has seriously considered #suicide in the last year. Ultimately, almost 10% of #youth within this age range attempted #suicide in 2019, including almost 12% of #AfricanAmerican #youth. In Pennsylvania, the #suicide rate among #adolescents 10 to 19 years old grew by 63% between 2007 and 2009 and 2017 and 2019.

While the passage of the 2008 #MentalHealth Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act have helped increase access to #mentalhealthcare, research shows that disparities persist among #racial and #ethnic groups.

» READ MORE: We’ve offered free therapy to black men. The response has been overwhelming. | Opinion

In 2019, among #youth ages 12 to 17 with #depression, less than half saw a #healthprofessional or used prescription medication. Those rates are even lower in #Black and #Hispanic #adolescents, who are less likely than whites to receive #mentalhealthservices, and more likely to stop treatment too early.

#Healthcareprofessionals and #mentalhealthadvocates are now looking more closely at other factors that can influence #suicide risk. For centuries, America’s marginalized communities have endured disparities in the form of pay, education, housing, #racial, and #gender inequality, and we are now learning more about how these social factors have a sizable influence over health outcomes. Maria Oquendo, professor and chairman of psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has a long-standing history of working in the area of #suicideprevention, and is tackling this challenge head on. Oquendo and her colleague Gregory Brown have recently been awarded a $14 million grant from the #NationalInstitutesofHealth to develop the Penn Innovation in #SuicidePrevention Implementation Research (INSPIRE) Center. “Not only will we develop and adapt research-based #suicideprevention interventions for underserved groups, but we’ll focus on testing ways to optimize how these evidence-based practices can be brought to scale efficiently,” Oquendo said in a news release.

» READ MORE: As a #Black #woman with #mentalillness, I fear dying by the #police | Opinion

While the data aren’t complete, what we do know shows we are in a crisis. Now is the time to rededicate ourselves to ending the #stigma, shattering the myths, and ensuring that our young #peopleofcolor receive the #mentalhealthservices they need. Let’s take a moment to challenge #healthcareprofessionals, researchers, and legislators to find new and more effective ways to save the lives of the most vulnerable, our #children. We need swift and immediate action – it’s time for us to all do better.

Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., is CEO and medical director of the #AmericanPsychiatricAssociation. Regina James, M.D., is chief of the division of diversity and health equity and deputy medical director of the #AmericanPsychiatricAssociation.

If you or someone you know is thinking of #suicide, call the #NationalSuicidePreventionLifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

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