Suicide Deaths; A large-scale study from The University of Toledo of young African Americans who have attempt or died by suicide suggests there is a greater need for mental health services in urban school districts; also that they need to do a better job in convincing parents and caregivers to safely secure firearms and ammunition in the home. Taking those measures, Dr. James Price said, could save lives.
The suicide deaths
Price, UToledo professor emeritus of health education and public health at UToledo, recently author the largest study to date that examines suicidal behaviors of African American adolescents between the ages of 13 and 19. The study, which was publish in the Journal of Community Health, find the rate of suicide deaths among young black males increase by 60% from 2001 through 2017.
Researchers document a 182% increase in the rate of suicide deaths of young black females during that same time period. Georgia had the highest rate in the nation, at 5.8 per 100,000 people, between 2015 and 2017. Following that was Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio. There are far more African American adolescents attempting suicide than has been recognize in the past, and their attempts are starting to be much more lethal,” Price said.
Currently, suicide is the second leading cause of death after homicide; so for African Americans between the ages of 13 and 19, and the rate continues to climb. Equally troubling is that the methods black youth; which are using in suicide attempts; which are among the most lethal. Price and a co-researcher at Ball State University found 52% of the 560 males aged 13 to 19 who died by suicide from 2015 to 2017 use firearms a method; which the fatality rate approaches 90%. Another 34% used strangulation or suffocation, which has a fatality rate of about 60%.
Impulsive suicide attempts
Previous surveys have found that among inner-city elementary school students; so whose parents own a handgun, three-quarters knew where the gun was kept. Keeping firearms lock away, unload; also separate from ammunition unequivocally would reduce; so unintentional firearm injuries and impulsive suicide attempts, Price said.
The research also suggests a far greater need for mental health services; so in African American communities. Public health researchers have repeatedly document; so that black youth are less likely than the youth population as a whole to receive adequate mental health treatment; so setting the stage for situations that contribute to self-harm.
What needs to be done early on is to make sure that young people have adequate access to mental health-care services, and mental health-care services have always taken a backseat to other forms of health care,” Price said. “If you look at where young people in urban areas, especially adolescents, are getting mental health care, it’s in the schools.”
Previous studies have found increasing mental health access in urban public schools could reduce suicide attempts by as much as 15%, Price said. While that doesn’t solve all the problems, it’s a good first step toward reducing the problem toward severe self violence, he said.