Preventing Suicide in a “Hidden Population”

A new research project suggests that African American families who liv in public housing are a so-called hidden population to national suicide prevention efforts.

The new study found 11% of Black teens or young adults living in a mid-Atlantic public housing project reported that in the past 12 months they had considered a plan to die by suicide.

These findings replicate what previous research has demonstrated; that Black youth are the fastest growing demographic engaging in suicidal behavior and dying by suicide. They also have the highest suicide death rate increase among any other racial or ethnic minority group. The numbers jump 2.55 in 100,000 to 4.82 in 100,000 (2017).

Males were more likely than females to have invented a suicide plan. Additionally, family dynamics like an incarcerated mother or alcoholic father increased the risk.

Researchers believe the findings demonstrate a need for differing the locations national suicide prevention programs target. They believe culturally tailored programs should be offered in public housing communities themselves and not just in schools or hospitals.