Increase in Black Youths’ Suicide Rate
An increase in unserved severe mental illnesses among blacks has exposed black youths to higher suicide rates. In comparison to whites, African Americans and Blacks are less likely to dies by suicide at all ages. However, Black and African American teenagers have a higher suicide attempt rate (9.8%) compared to white teenagers 6.1%. Notably, Black and African American young adults’ suicidal plans, thoughts, and attempts are rising. Among 18-25-year-old Black and African Americans, between 2008 and 2018, suicide thoughts rose from 6% to 9.5%, plans from 2.1% to 3.6%, and attempts from 1.5% to 2.4% (MHA). Not only has there been a rise in suicide attempts by black teenagers but also Black and African American teenagers have had a higher suicide attempt rate. Specifically, in a nationwide analysis of Youth risk behavior surveys of 1997 to 2007, Lindsey et al. found a 73% increase in Black youth suicide attempt rates, with that of black girls rising significantly while those of their white, Hispanic, and Asian American counterparts were on a decline (7). As thus, while the suicide attempts of adolescents have been reducing, that of blacks has been on the rise. Considering the overall decline in the general population adolescent’s suicide attempt decline, the relative increase in black youth suicide attempts rate is a course for concern whose root must be dealt with.
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