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Black boys ages 10-14 are twice as likely to die by suicide than their white counterparts. And every 4 and a half hours a Black person dies by suicide. Jacque Reid goes Inside Her Story with suicide prevention advocate Fonda Bryant, who is also the daughter of Johnnie Taylor.

Bryant works to raise awareness of mental health issues and erase the stigma and shame associated with them. Bryant says she believes that if there had been raised awareness of mental health issues it could have saved her dad’s life, even though he died of a heart attack. She believes this because , “mental health and addiction go hand in hand,” and her father struggled with addiction for most of his life.

She shared that she once was suicidal and her aunt saved her life. Bryant told her aunt that she could have all of her shoes; which was a red flag for her aunt who ended up getting her checked into a mental health facility. y

“We really don’t want to die. We just want the pain in that moment to go away,” she explains. Before this incident Bryant says she was diagnosed with depression, and “90% of people who die by suicide have a mental health condition.”

If you or someone you love is struggling, Bryant encourages you to reach out too Nami (National alliance of mental illness). They’re located in every state and can and will help you. Visit their website for more information here:

“Don’t ever give up on us,” she says, “suicide is the most preventable death of all deaths if people would care and get educated.”

You can find Bryant on social media at Proudmom72 on Instagram and Twitter.

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