Black children are nearly 50% more likely to die by suicide than white children. Why?
You’re asking about black children. Yes, the data showing that black children are nearly 50% more likely to die by suicide than white children is particularly troubling. However, there are a number of contributing factors that don’t just affect black children, but, as research shows, increase the risk for other populations as well.
Sharing experiences of loss and trauma can be highly destabilizing and sometimes lead to stress disorders and mental illness. Specifically, studies find that the likelihood of mental illness in African American children is significantly elevated when they were exposed to adversity in their formative years. Other studies show that people whose lives are marked by trauma (such as survivors of childhood trauma) have higher levels of high-risk mental health traits and are at greater risk for suicide than people who didn’t experience trauma.
These related factors tend to exacerbate structural inequalities that are afflicting communities of color, which can limit access to jobs, mental health care, resources, educational opportunities and health insurance. And as we’ve previously noted, blacks have less access to anti-suicide resources than other communities.