This post was originally published on Atlanta Voice

By Clayton Gutzmore

Suicide is a sensitive topic because of how damaging it is for the person who does the act and the lives of people around them who need to cope. A recent study from the University of Georgia (UGA) reveals that young Black men from rural areas are dying by suicide at alarming rates. The study explains that one in three rural Black men reported they recently experienced suicidal ideation or thoughts of death. These thoughts stem from childhood adversity and racism. Steven Kogan and Michael Curtis are the co-authors of the study. They are human development and family studies scholars. They explain why everyone needs to care about this subject, what signs we can look for in the young black men around us, and why we need to play a role in prevention because the system won’t.

“I think in this country, we have stopped investing in people. We are more focused on what they can produce than what they can become. Our study particularly demonstrates that the system is systemically failing these men. From exposing them to childhood adversity to insufficient support in adulthood to keep them alive. That’s very problematic,” said Michael Curtis, University of Georgia graduate, and Emory University postdoctoral fellow.

UGA’s study on Young black men and suicide was released on March 26. The study was conducted over ten years and surveyed over 500 young black men. Participants in the study were in their late teens and were followed by researchers until their early 20s. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for African Americans between the ages of 15 and 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicide is particularly prevalent among Black men, who die by suicide at a rate more than four times that of Black women.

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#health #mentalhealth #suicide

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