Suicide is a sensitive issue to bring up at any time and it doesn’t necessarily get easier when you are the survivor of a loved one who has died by suicide. It can become even stickier when you’re talking to people who have very rigid beliefs about how and with whom to have this conversation.
Some folks think if you address the issue of suicide it will encourage people to kill themselves, while other people believe there’s not enough education about how to identify if someone is at-risk for suicide. And though there are some tried and true measures to evaluate a person for suicidal risk, there is no one-size-fits-all system to know if everyone who is at-risk can be prevented from harming themselves.
Equally important to the conversation is the sentence too many people of color use that starts like this: “Only White people…”. You can fill in the blank.
There’s no evidence that says only White people think about suicide more than African-Americans or Latinos. There is, however, evidence that suicide is the third leading cause of death for African-American males ages 15-24.
Research also shows that men die by suicide more often than women who attempt suicide more frequent. And men between the ages of 45-54 years of age have the highest suicide rates followed by 35-44 year-old men.
But that’s not all there is to know. Take a look at the myths we often hear in the mental health industry and the facts that debunk these false beliefs: