Mental illness and suicide are topics not openly discussed in the black community, homes, and places of worship. It is a taboo subject, that for years, has been seen as a “white people” issue because black people do not commit suicide or have mental illness.
This is no longer the case. The rate of mental illness and suicide in the black community is steady rising, but we, as a community, are not addressing it. This needs and has to change.
We have to engage each other and talk about mental illness and suicide. We have to be more vigilant in getting help for ourselves and others. Whether it is seeing a professional, group therapy, or just having someone to talk to one on one, we have to be willing to reach out and say we need help or to offer help.
There are many forms of mental illness and someone may not “look” suicidal but that does not mean they are not struggling to make it through the next day, hour, or minute.
I recently lost my dad to suicide and I saw first hand how it devastates a family. I listened to the questions family members asked. The why, how, and what happened. I felt and saw the hurt and helplessness. I do not wish that feeling on anyone else.
If you know someone who is struggling or are struggling with mental illness or suicidal thoughts please reach out for help. There are so many resources available but you have to be willing to make take that step.
Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit the online treatment locators.