A few weeks ago, I came across a video that literally had me in tears. In this video two women talked about their experience with attempting suicide. They were young and African-American. As sad as it was, it was enlightening.
For many years, suicide as been coined as a “white” person problem. Over the years, it has turned out o be furthest from the truth. According to the CDC, the most recent data shows that the highest suicide rates were among American Indian/Alaskan Native males with 27.61 suicides per 100,000 and Non-Hispanic White males with 25.96 suicides per 100,000. This group even had the highest rates for females. The Asian/Pacific Islanders had the lowest suicide rates among males while the Non-Hispanic Blacks had the lowest suicide rate among females. What is alarming is the rate for black men. The rates of suicide among black men are four times higher than black women. That number was from 2009 which, was not to long ago. The data also shows that between 1980 – 1995, the suicide rate among Black people ages 10-14 increased 233%, as compared to non-Hispanic whites.
The question is why? Going back to the video that the two women posted, they blamed their suicide attempts on being molested and bullied. Researchers blame it on socioeconomic (SES). The theory is that poverty causes mental illness and suicide is a result of succumbing to that mental illness. For black men, it has been theorized that the root of the problem goes back to slavery. The emasculation that was experienced has now become a part of the black man’s life making him more susceptible to mental illness and therefore suicide.
The reality is that, we must accept that mental illness is an issue and take steps to address it. Yes, from a religious perspective I believe that suicide is an eternal sin that is punishable by God. In the Muslim faith, it is believed that the way a person kills themselves will be the way they kill themselves in hell. Even still, while I don’t have any concrete numbers I am sure that some Muslims have killed themselves suicide bombers aside. We all understand the power of rather however, when someone is so mentally distraught directing them to only pray is not the best thing to do. The fact that someone is note playing suicide shows just how fragile their mind is. A fragile mind is the devil’s playground. The devil will have a person believe that a wrong is so right.
The reality is that suicide exist among people as a whole. The time has come when we must stop shoving its existence into a far corner. I commend these two college educated women who happen to be members of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.. I hope their courage and honesty inspired someone o reach out and seek help from a professional. I hope that it inspired people to be vigilant among their friends or families. Suicide is usually preceded by numerous signs that are often times ignored. Don’t be afraid to get butt into your loved one’s lives if you think that something is wrong. You just may save their life. If you can’t help them there is always someone who can. Give them this number, 1-800-273-8255. It’s the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States
Words of wisdom: Suicide: a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Maliyka is health