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The Suicide Rate Among Young African Americans Is On The Rise

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The suicide rate among Black youth ages 10-19 nearly doubled between 2007 and 2017, and studies have found that among youngsters age 5-11, it’s increasing faster than for any other racial or ethnic group.

That hasn’t gotten much attention because the overall suicide rate for African Americans is low compared with other groups. In 2017, Black Californians died by suicide at less than half the rate of White Californians.

“For a long time it was assumed that Black people really did not commit suicide at the level or rate that we often think of in the general population, and that in fact it was unusual to hear about a Black person committing suicide,” said Dr. Altha Stewart, a dean at the University of Tennessee’s College of Medicine.

“It has been important for us to call out these trends and do the research to document it,” said Dr. Michael Lindsey, executive director of NYU’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research.

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