MetroFocus

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A SURGE IN SUICIDES

Suicide attempts among black teens are increasing at alarming rates. What’s driving this heartbreaking trend and how do we stop it?

AIRED: February 13, 2020 | 0:10:17
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> WE MUST FIND OUT WHY BLACK

CHILDREN ARE TAKING THEIR LIVES

AT AN ALARMING RATE AND WE MUST

CONTINUE TO COULD THAT TOGETHER

AND DEVISE SOLUTIONS THAT WILL

PUT AN END TO IT.

>> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."

THE STATISTICS ARE STARTLING.

A NEW STUDY SHOWS THAT SUICIDE

ATTEMPTS AMONGAN ADOLESCENTS SU.

IT ROSE BY BY WHITE

TEENAGERS DROPPED 7.5%.

SO WHAT IS DRIVING THIS HEART

BREAKING REALITY?

JOINING US, THE STUDY'S LEAD

AUTHND EXECUTIVE

DIRECTOR THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

JOINING US TODAY.

>> TNK YOUORGME.

>> SO DOCTOR, YOU RECENTLY SAID

THAT THESE KIDS ARE TELLING US

SOMETHING WITH THESE HEART

BREAKING SUICIDE ATTEMPTS.

ASIDE FROM THEM TELLING US THAT

THEY'RE IN DEEP EMOTIONAL PAIN,

WHAT ELSE ARE THEY TELLING US?

>> THE FIRST THING THAT I LOOK

AT IS, A PRECURSOR ISSUE LIKE

DEPRESSION.

WHAT I MEAN BY IS,ID

ATTEMPTING SUICIDE MAY ACTUALLY

HAVE UNTREATED DEPRESSION.

WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT BLACK UTOR

DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS ARE OFTEN

EXPRESS IN THE DIFFERENT WAYS

THAN WE MIGHT NOT SORT OF BE,

YOU KNOW, WISE ABOUT.

A STOMACH ACHE OR A

HEADACHE, OR THEY MAY HAVE

INTERPERSONAL CHALLENGES IN

TERMS OF RELATIONSHIP QUALITY.

AND OFTENTIMES WE CAST THOSE

SITUATIONS ASIDE.

WE DON'T CONSIDER THEM TO BE

MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

SYMPTOMATIC, FOR EX

DEPRESSION.

AND SO WE MIGHT IN SCHOOL,

SUSPEND KIDS AS OPPOSED TO

TREATING THOSE ISSUES.

SO I THINK THE KIDS ARE TELLING

US THAT THEY WANT TO BE HEARD

AROUND THE THINGS THAT MATTER TO

THEN THE MOST OF THE.

>> WHAT DID YOURESDISCOVER ABOU

THIS INCREASE IN DEPRESSION?

AMONG BLACK ADOLESCENTS, THAT IN

TURN IS LEADING TO THE SUICIDE

ATTEMPTS?

>> WELL, OUR STUDY WAS NOT ABOUT

LOOKING AT WHATDSE

IT WAS MORE ABOUT LOOKING AT THE

TRENDS, ENGAGE NYPD SUICIDE

BEHAVIORS OVER TIME.

SO AGAIN, AS YOU STARTED OFF

WITH WITH RESPECT TO THE 73%

RISE IN SUICIDE MP

ESSENTIALLY, WE BELIEVE THAT IN

PART, IT COULD BE RELATED TO THE

FACT THAT KIDS ARE, PARTICULARLY

BLACK KI A ENGAGING IN MORE

IMPULSIVE DECISION MAKING AROUND

SUICIDE BEHAVIOR.

BECAUSE AT THE SAME TIME, WE SAW

THAT SUICIDE IDEATION, IN TERMS

OF THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE AND S

DOWNWARD WHILE ATTEMPTS WERE

GOING UP.

WHAT WE'VE ALSO SEEN, ONE MORE

THING HERE.

WHAT WE'VE ALSO SEEN IS THAT

BLACK KIDS TEND NOT TO BE

CONNECTED TO TREATMENT FOR

DEPRESSION.

AND SO WE HAVE IN TERMS OF MY

REAR IE L UP IN

OF THINGS OVER THE YEARS THAT

MAY BE RELATED TO UNTREATED

DEPRESSION, INCLUDING STIGMA

RELATED TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE

IS FR NOT BEING

ABLE TO GET ALONG WITH THE

MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDER, OR THAT

THE PROVIDER WON'T UNDERSTAND

THEIR UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES.

>> AND GOING BACK TO WHAT YOU

SAID, THESE TEENS, THESE AD LESS

ENLTS, AREHIESBO

COMMITTING SUICIDE AND ABOUT HOW

TO GO ABOUT IT BUT THEY'R DOING

IT MORE.

WHICH MEANS THAT IT IS MUCH MORE

OF AN IMPULSE THING.

WHICH MAKES IT MORE TRAGIC,

RIGHT?

IF IT IS AN IMPULSE THING, IF

CAUGHT, YOULD SOMETHING

ABOUT IT.

>> YEAH.

YOU KNOW, I WANT TO BE CAREFUL.

BECAUSE IT IS MY SPECULATION AND

THAT OF MY FELLOW COLLEAGUES ON

THE STUDY THAT IT COULD BE

RELATED TO IMPULSEIVITY.

WE NEED TO DO MORE RESEARCH TOC.

IT IS SORT OF SCARY TO ME,

RIGHT?

THAT KIDS ARE ACTUALLY,

PARTICULARLY BLACK G TO AN ATTE

WITHOUT PLANNING OR THINKING

ABOUT IT.

SO IT REALLY BEGS THAT WE NEED

MORE RESEARCH TO TRULY

UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING.

>> NOW, THE REPORT ALSO FOUND

THAT AMONG AFRICAN-AMERICAN

ADOLESCENTS, BLACK TEEN GIRLS

ARETT HIGHER

RATES THAN BLACK TEEN BOYS.

WHY?

>> I CAN POINT TO A NUMBER OF

THINGS AS POTENTIAL REASONS.

ONE IS, WE KNOW ABOUT GIRLS TEND

TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA ATHELEXP

INTERPERSONAL STRESS-RELATED TO

THE SOCIAL MEDIA USE.

IT HAS BEEN WELL DOCUMENTED THAT

GIRLS ACTUALLY EXPERIENCE HIGHER

LEVELS OF DEPRESSION.

IF SO, THAT MIGHT BE A

CONTRIBUTING OR.

DHE IMBALANCE COULD BE A

CONTRIBUTING FACTOR.

WE KNOW THAT GIRLS TEND TO

EXPERIENCE HIGHER LEVELS OF TEEN

DATING VIOLENCE.

I ALSO THINK, WHEN YOU TALK

ABOUT BLACK GIRLS, THERE COULD

BE A DOUBLE JEOPARDY GOING ONWI

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE AND

GENDER.

>> YOU KNOW, THERE'S SOMETHING

ELSE I FOUND VERY INTERESTING.

IN YOUR STUDIES.

THAT EVEN THOUGH BLACK TEEN

GIRLS ARE COMMITTING, MAKING

THESE ATTEMPTS AT HIGHER

NUMBERS, WHEN BLACK TEEN BOYS

ATTEMPT IT, THEY USE MORE LETHAL

METHODS.

WHAT ARE THOSE METHODS THAT THEY

USE AND WHY DO YOU THINK THAT

IS>> I CASE.

WHAT THE FINDING ACTUALLY

SUGGESTED WAS THAT BLACK BOYS

ARE ENGAGING IN MORE, OR HAVING

MORE INJURY BY ATTEMPT.

WHICH MEANS THEY COULD BE

ENGAGING INOTET

AN WHICH TO ATTEMPT

SUICIDE.

YOU KNOW, I THINK A UP IN OF

THINGS COULD BE GOING ON THERE.

ONE IS THAT WE'VE SEEN ACTUALLY

OR ATTEMPTING SUICIDE BY HANGING

OR ASPHYXIATION, AND SO I THINK

WE NEED TO EXPLORE WHAT'S

HAPPENING WITH THAT.

WE'VE SEEN SOME DECREASES WITH

RESPECT TO WEAPONS, LIKE

FIREARMS, AS A METHOD OF SUICIDE

AMONG BLACK YOUTH IN THE LAST

COUPLE DECADES.

BUT I THINKORE

RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE UNDERTAKEN

TO TRULY UNDERSTAND WHAT'S

HAPPENING.

>> SO ONE O

AC Y LIKELY BE

ADISTRIBUTE UTSD TO GREATER

STRUCTURAL ISSUES AND I THINK WE

CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS.

ALONG WITH THE DECLINE IN COPING

MECHANISMS.

ONE OF THOSE COPING MECHANISMS

THEY HAVE, AND WHY ARE THEY IN

DECLINE?

>> I THINK SUICIDE ATTEMPTS,

THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE, PLANNING

SUICIDE, ARE COPING MECHANISMS

THAT COULD BE IN PLAY INSTEAD OG

CONNECTED TO TREATMENT.

SO I THINK THAT UNDERSTANDING

WHAT FACTORS ARE CONTRIBUTING TO

WHY KIDS ARE NOT CONNECTED TO

TREATMENT, AND YOU KNOW, ONE OF

THE THINGS I'VE BEEN ADVOCATING

FOR, MY COLLEAGUES, WE NEED MORE

MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELLORS IN

SCHOOLS TO GIVE KIDS GREATER

PROXIMITY TO MENTAL HEALTH TR

OFTEN, RAFAEL, WHAT WE FIND, IS

THAT IN POOR COMMUNITIES, BLACK

AND BROWN COMMUNITIES, KIDS ARE

NOT ABLE TO ACCESS A MENTAL

HEALTH COUNSELLOR, OR IF THEY

HAVE A COUNSELLOR, THAT

COUNSELLOR IS THERE ONE DAY OUT

OF THE WEES SAY TUESDAY.

SO THAT MAKES NO SENSE IN TERMS

OF WHEN PROBLEMS ARE LIKELY TO

MANIFEST.

WE NEED MENTAL HEALTH

COUNSELLORS IN SCHOOLS

PROPORTIONATE TO THE NUMBER OF

KIDS IN SCHOOLS.HI REALLY,

REALLY IMPORTANT FACTOR HERE.

>> WHAT IS THE ONE THING THAT

YOU THINK MUST BE DONE THAT IS

NOT BEING DONE NOW?

>> I THINK THAT WE'RE DOING, AND

I APPLAUD THE WORK THAT IS

HAPPENING IN NEW YORK CITY.

I'VE BEEN AROUND THE COUNTRY TO

RECOGNIZE THAT WE NEED MENTAL

HEALTH COUNSELLORS IN SCHOOLS.

I THINK THAT IS THE ONE THING

THATNDO.

GET KIDS CONNECTED TO MENTAL

HEALTH COUNSELLORS, AVAILABLE IN

SCHOOLS, PROPORTIONATE TO THE

NUMBER OF KIDS IN THAT SCHOOL.

AND I THINK THAT COUNSELLORS

HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ACTUALLY

HELP TEACHERS UNDERSTAND THE NDO

MAY BE STRUGGLING.

THEY CAN HELP PRINCIPALS AND

OTHER ADMINISTRATORS IN THE

SCHOOL UNDERSTAND.

THEY CAN WORK FAMILIES TO HELP

PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS

UNDERSTAND THE SUBE SIGND

PRESENTATIONS THAT WE SHOULD BE

PAYING GREATER ATTENTION TO.

SO I STRONGLY ADVOCATE, AND THAT

OF MY COLLEAGUES, WE STRONGLY

ADVOCATE T PROON

SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

THROUGH THE AVAILABILITY OF

COUNSELLORS TO KIDS WHO ARE IN

NEED OF THOSE SERVICES.

>> WITH, DR. LINDSEY, THANK YOU

FOR JOINING US AT EIGHT GLOK

THIS AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR

RK.>>OUR TIME.

THANK YOU.


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