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Suicide rates are rising among young Black girls.

Sep 28 2021

Suicide rates are rising among young Black girls. According to a study from the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, suicide rates have increased in Black children and adoloscents for more than a decade—with the sharpest rise occurring among young girls. The research found that just over 1,800 Black children died by suicide between 2003 and 2017, and while most of the deaths were among 15-17-year-old boys, the suicide rate of girls increased an average of 6.6% each year, which is “more than twice” the increase for boys. Nearly 40% were 12-14-year-old girls, indicating that the age group might need “additional attention or different types of interventions.” A separate report found that suicide rates of 15-24-year-old Black males rose by 47% between 2013 and 2019, and by 59% for Black females in the same age range, but decreased in White youth. Meanwhile, the biggest increase in self-reported suicide attempts was among Black adolsecents, with Black children under the age of 13 dying by suicide at “nearly twice the rate” of White children of the same age. According to experts, the experiences of Black children are “like none other” in the U.S., and “protective factors” like positive messaging and emphasizing the sense of pride about one’s racial and ethnic group can “reduce the effects of racism on mental health.” (NYT)