What We Misunderstand About Suicide Among Black Americans

It’s an idea that in one form or another has been repeated again and again. Cheslie Kryst had so much. She seemed so happy. She didn’t fit the mold of someone who dies by suicide. Kryst, an entertainment reporter, former lawyer, and Miss USA 2019, was a successful young Black woman in a country that often assumes suicide primarily affects white, visibly depressed middle-aged men, the Willy Lomans who populate American culture. So the shock that followed news of her death Sunday—which the New York medical examiner confirmed to be caused by suicide—was predictable. It also revealed a dangerous gap between reality and what many believe about suicide and prevention in the United States. It’s true that, in raw numbers, white men account for more suicide deaths in the U.S. than any other demographic group. But that obscures a more complicated picture. Suicide rates are actually highest among American Indian/Alaska Native people, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data—something rarely mentioned in conversations about suicide. What’s more, the most recent CDC data available suggest that, following years of increases across demographic groups, suicide rates among white people in the U.S. declined from 2019 to 2020, contributing to a 3% overall drop in suicide deaths in that time period. But there were no statistically significant declines in suicide rates for Black Americans, or other Americans of color; in fac...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized healthscienceclimate Mental Health nationpod Source Type: news