The Battle of Suicidal Thoughts in African American Youth

This a newspaper article on teen suicide. Please read with caution as this newspaper article relates to a serious topic about teen suicide and self harm. If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to your counselor or trusted adult. To contact a self harm or suicide hot line please contact 988


Kayce Mayo and Aryanna McKenney

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Have you or a friend ever had suicidal thoughts or battled with depression? For most we know that depression & suicide are looked down upon and aren’t spoken about enough especially in the black community, so most adolescents feel hopeless. Fear from their parents not understanding or guidance counselors getting others involved some choose to not speak out.  Over the recent years kids just aren’t the same anymore, the struggles of school, parents, work, and maintaining a social life can be hard. There are high school students who feel as if they don’t want to be here anymore because they have no one to talk to. The black community & the world in general needs to be better educated on the topic. “I didn’t necessarily want to die, But the part of me that had depression and shame and sadness everyday — I wanted that pain to die. I wanted that part to go away.”  – Jordan Burnham.  Trufully, this is how some people feel. They don’t want to die, they just want a certain part to be gone or they want to feel happy for once. Be there for your friends, family, and even strangers sometimes. Become a safe space  because we all need one, some people don’t discuss how certain things make them feel. 

A Few Facts

  • Self-reported suicide attempts rose nearly 80% among Black adolescents from 1991 to 2019 
  • The prevalence of attempts did not change significantly among those of other races and ethnicities
  • New evidence that suggests Black children may have unique risk factors for self-harm
  • Black children and adolescents who died by suicide were more likely than white youths to have experienced a crisis in the two weeks before they died
  • They were also more likely to have had a family relationship problem, argument or conflict, or a history of suicide attempts
  • There are only a handful of academics who study these topics
  • Deaths by suicide are more common among boys than girls overall
  • Suicide rates among Black girls increased by an average of 6.6 percent each year from 2003 to 2017 — more than twice the increase for Black boys


Remember you never know what someone is going through so treat people with kindness!

If you or a friend needs help call the suicide prevention line @ 988

As a senior, I know how stressful school is right now. I was told senior year would be my easiest year but it definitely is not. I am tired of all the assignments and tests. I don’t know what college I want to go to, and don’t even ask me what I am doing about prom. It feels impossible to balance my school, job, and social life all at once. I used to think I was just lazy but I now understand I am just burnt out and tired just like a lot of my peers. Many people can not handle this type of stress. Luckily, I have a great support system such as my family and friends. So there is no problem I can not solve. Sadly for a lot of teenagers they have no one to talk to so they tend to harm themselves as an outlet for themselves. 

Self harmWhat is self harm? Self harm is causing yourself any type of physical pain on purpose. Self harm can be in many different forms such as self harm with objects, purposely not taking care of yourself such as not eating or skipping meals. Self harm can cause permanent physical and mental scars. If you are self harming or notice a friend or peer who is, please tell a trusted adult asap. As you could save someone’s life. 

Signs of self harm- There are signs to look for in your friends and peers that may save their lives. 

  • Wearing long sleeve shirts and pants all the time even on burning hot days. 
  • Constantly having bruise,cuts,or burns and playing it off as a accident
  • Breaking off friends and relationships (becoming very distant 
  • Keeping sharp objects on hand 
  • Having impulsive behaviors (mood swings, very angry,or sad)
  • Fresh cuts or scars 

 SuicideSuicide is the third most leading death for 15-24 year olds.

Suicide is in 2020 suicide is the leading cause of death in the united States with 46,979 deaths. That is around 1 death every 11 minutes. Many people commit suicide due to stress or problems at home such as abuse verbal or physical. For many this is what feels like the last option for them.

If you are contemplating suicide please reach out for help. It’s okay to need help from others. It does not make you weak, it takes a strong person to realize that they need help.

Here are some numbers to text or call if you need help 

Call 988 Or text the crisis help line 741741 send them the word “help” to receive the support you need. It is 24 hours so feel free to call or text whenever you need.