From the Office of Christian Care and Counseling- Rev. LaTasha Morgan

September is designated as the time to share resources in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. We use this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention.

Historically, suicide rates among Blacks and people of color are lower compared to whites.  However, this number is rising, especially among teen black youth.  It is especially important that parents and caregivers be willing to sit, listen and try to fully understand what is upsetting for a child who is experiencing a difficult situation ad a lot of emotions. It can be frightening if someone you love talks about suicidal thoughts. It can be even more frightening if you find yourself thinking about dying or giving up on life. One conversation can change a life.

Gaining help from the Crisis Text Line at 741741 is a great option for a teen in crisis.  See the helpful tips below that apply to all on warning signs, common risk factors and resources that provide additional information.

 Top 5 Common Warning Signs of a Mental Health Condition:

Excessive worry, anxiety or fear
Feeling excessively sad and low
Avoiding friends and social activities
Extreme mood changes
Prolonged feelings of anger and irritability
Lack of health insuranceHistory of suicide ideation and/or attempts

Top 10 Common Risk Factors:

Psychological distress
Substance abuse
Family dysfunction
Exposure to violence and racial inequality
Maladaptive coping skills
Mental health stigma
Distrust in doctors and medical establishments
Lack of proximity to services