I am overwhelmed and shocked! It has happened once again. The headline is that another Black male, with promise, has taken his own life today. Where does this stop? How do we stop this infectious process that is attempting to overtake our communities? Some experts believe that depression is likely a key factor in a 233% increase in suicide in black males ages 10-14 from 1980 to 1995. Suicide in the African-American community was hardly mentioned and much less recognized in the 80s. Now it seems as if this malady has become almost common place. Brothers speak-up and speak-out about your emotional pain. Is this a secret on the HBCU campuses here in America? I think probably so.
I believe that the culprit here is depression. We have got to aggressively get young men in for medical care. Is there a problem with access? I am sure there is, but how do we address this issue? Has the economy increased our young men’s brush with death? This phenomenon is puzzling to me. You are not a sissy if you come forward and reach out for help. This may be the key to your survival.
Maybe we are not availing ourselves to this group of men. Are there enough culturally competent practitioners to address this dilemma? This answer is a definite no! There has to be a call to action. Morehouse, Howard, Tuskegee, FAMU, Bethune-Cookman, Clark Atlanta University and all other HBCUs what is your call to action? How many more mothers’ boys have to go down this road? Is the nail in the coffin of HOPE? I am distressed. This has to stop someway and somehow. The perils of racism, unemployment, lost hope and depression are front and center. Now, what are we going to do?
Call to Action
1. More specific “mental health” services available for African-American men on all HBCU and other college campuses.
2. More forums that allow open and frank discussion about depression and suicide among males.
3. Suicide hotlines available in high risk communities and colleges.
4. APA and AMA call to action specific to this issue.
5. More available community resources for practitioners that serve this vulnerable population.
6. More articles and research on the phenomenology of this problem in high risk communities.
*Depression in Black men Information http://itsmentalhealth.com/permalink.php?article=Depressionin Black Men Information
What’s Your Current Mental Status?… Click on the link below and take Dr.O’s Mental Evaluation Screening to assess your current mental status: