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Study Shows Young Black Men Are Dying By Suicide At Alarming Rates 

A study from the University of Georgia reveals that one in three rural Black men reported experiencing suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death in the past two weeks, with childhood adversity and racism identified as significant factors. Michael Curtis, a co-author of the study and a graduate of UGA, emphasized the lack of focus on the disparities and individuals most at risk for suicide ideation, especially among young Black men. The research underscores the impact of growing up in low-resource environments and facing racial discrimination on the ability to form healthy, trusting relationships, leading to feelings of isolation and suicidal thoughts.

The study tracked over 500 African American men from rural Georgia from their late teens through their early 20s, asking them to reflect on their childhood experiences, including economic hardships and trauma, and their feelings about close relationships and racial discrimination. Findings indicate that childhood adversity, combined with racial discrimination, severely affects mental health, leading to mistrust and isolation. Steven Kogan, the lead author, highlighted the importance of quality relationships in sustaining human beings and preventing suicidal thoughts.

This research, published in Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, also involved Ava Reck, a doctoral candidate, and Assaf Oshri, an associate professor at UGA. It suggests that fostering self-love and pride in being Black from a young age can counteract internalized negative perceptions, emphasizing the need for further research into how racism affects mental health and well-being.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide ranks as the second most common cause of death among African Americans aged 15 to 24. Notably, the incidence of suicide is significantly higher among Black men, who have a suicide rate exceeding four times that of Black women.

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Link: UGA


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