Black People Die By Suicide Too?
Yes, we do!
Many people in the black community are told suicide is a "white people thing." In fact, suicide is among the leading cause of death in the United States and increasing rapidly among Blacks. Rates of suicide among Black youth have risen faster than in any other racial/ethnic group in the past two decades, with suicide rates in Black males 10-19 years-old increasing by 60%. Early adolescent Black youth are twice as likely to die by suicide as compared to their white counterparts.
The Black People Die By Suicide Too Podcast is hosted by two black women with lived experience. T-Kea is a suicide attempt survivor whose cousin also died by suicide. Jordan has struggled with suicide ideation. They are determined to educate and dismantle the stigma surrounding suicide in their community. To learn more about Jordan and T-Kea, visit the about section.
saying "committed suicide"
Saying "commit or committed suicide" is offensive to many people. When we use the word commit, it is usually associated with "committing a crime" or "committing a sin" which means wrongdoing. This phrase places blame on the individual instead of the mental health condition that influences the behavior. We don't say someone with cancer or diabetes was committed to their death so the same compassion should be given to those with mental health challenges. We also do not use the phrase "successfully completed" suicide. Successfully completing something is associated with something good. Language matters. Please consider saying "died by suicide" or "attempted suicide."
While some people with family members and friends who died by suicide prefer to say "committed", we respect their choice. We believe in person-centered language and will never fault individuals for their illness. We want people to know having suicidal thoughts or attempts is not their fault. They are the victims of an illness and not the perpetrator. Please do your part by considering your language and educating others. The Black People Die By Suicide Too Podcast stands firm on "died by suicide."