“Suicide isn’t just a ‘white people thing’” – The Conversation

by Kimya M. Dennis

“As a sociologist and criminologist, I often do community outreach on mental health prevention. I urge organizations and programs to avoid ‘one size fits all’ approaches. There are many ways that mental health issues can impact individuals, depending upon race and ethnicity, gender identity, sexual identity, religion and more.

suicide“Research suggests that suicides by racial and ethnic minorities are undercounted. – Joseph Sohm/shutterstock.com”

“But I have found mental health conditions and suicide are often still considered a ‘white people’s problem.’ When I speak with African-Americans and non-white Hispanics – groups that are often overlooked by the mental health community – I’m often asked why I’m “wasting time” addressing race, ethnicity and other cultural variations.

“In some ways, this is not surprising. Whites make up more than 70 percent of the total U.S. population and have the highest rate of suicide relative to population size.

“In the African-American community, there’s a tendency to label suicide and mental health conditions as ‘crazy’ or evidence that you aren’t praying enough. People in this culture, as well as Hispanic, Asian and American Indian communities, are less likely to acknowledge the possibility of having a health condition or seek mental health services.”

Read this article at The Conversation in its entirety, click here.

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