African American Male Suicide


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An idea for a nonprofit program to assist African American men with depression and self esteem so that suicide rates will drop significantly.

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African American Male Suicide

  1. 1. Helping to Eradicate Suicide Among African American Men (A blueprint for a future program.) By:Violette L. Meier andTread Maines
  2. 2.  God is forever with us and has promised to always love and protect us if we dwell in the Almighty’s divine presence. This is very important to know especially when dealing with depression.  My program seeks to pull black men from the dark depths of depression into the blinding light of God’s love.
  3. 3.  To eradicate suicide in the African American male community.  During 1980-1995, the suicide rate for adolescentAfrican- American males ages 15- 19 years increased from 5.6 to 13.8 per 100,000 of the population according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
  4. 4.  Brotherhood support system where men can be uplifted and be helped with issues and life’s hardships.
  5. 5. 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strongholdof my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1  Psalm 139 Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night’, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
  6. 6.  Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NRSV  …Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1 ESV  Honor everyone. Love the family of believers (the brotherhood).* Fear God… 1 Peter 2.17 NRSV
  7. 7. Invictus Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeoning of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. William Ernest Henley
  8. 8.  Adolescence is a time of change and transition, when youth experience physical, mental and emotional changes.These changes leave adolescents particularly vulnerable to mental health problems such as depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety disorders, especially if the adolescent has a family history of mental illness At the same time it is essential to note that the challenges of adolescent development within the African American community are multiplied because of historical and social factors arising from institutional and societal racism.
  9. 9.  Racism can affect mental health status in at least three ways.  1. It can lead to reduced socioeconomic status, diminished access to desirable resources, and poor living conditions.  2. It can lead to physiological and psychological reactions which bring about adverse changes in mental health status  3.The acceptance of negative stereotypes can cause negative self-evaluations that have damaging effects on psychological well-being.
  10. 10.  Surveys will be issued to find out what the men need most.  Forums will be conducted where needs can be discovered and discussed.  Men’s nights for brother to brother conversations so that stress can be relieved through talking and sharing. Confidentiality contracts will be issued.
  11. 11.  Learn to LoveYourself (a self esteem booster event)  Your Body isYourTemple (men’s health seminar)  The Other Image of God (respecting women)  Living a Life of Purpose and Fulfillment (God’s plan for us and personal happiness)  We’re InThisTogether (community)
  12. 12.  Pass out information regarding mental health and stress.  Set up help lines, prayer groups, psychological directory, etc.  Gather suggestions.  Create support systems.
  13. 13.  Preach a sermon about suicide, hopelessness, depression, etc.  Inform families and friends about the issue.
  14. 14.  Create a website and/or blog.  Set up an information center for hurting men in the community.  Stay empathetic and so that you can be approachable to anyone in need.
  15. 15.  Dwelling in God’s presence and under God’s protection the community shall:  Put God first in faith and practice of high morality  Love one another like we love ourselves  Respect each other
  16. 16.  Encourage one another  Work without ceasing to better the community  Support one another without judgment  Resolve all conflicts peacefully and respectfully  Create a networking system that will aid in employment, social services, food and shelter, emotional well being, and spiritual guidance.
  17. 17.  In gratitude for God’s love and protection and the peace we gain from dwelling in God’s divine presence, we pledge to be his disciples.We recognize that our time and talents are gifts from God, and we will use to uplift each other and make our community stronger.
  18. 18.  Anglin, Deidre M., Kamieka O.S. Gabriel, and Nadine J. Kaslow. "Suicide Acceptability and Religious Well-Being: A Comparative Analysis in African American Suicide Attempters and Non-Attempters." Journal of Psychology and Theology 33, no. 2 (2005): 140+.   Booker, Christopher B. I Will Wear No Chain! A Social History of African-American Males. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000. Book on-line.   Chappell, Kevin. "Suicide Watch: After Homicides and Accidents, Suicide Is the Third-Leading Cause of Death among Black Youth." Ebony, March 2006, 30.   Day-Vines, Norma L. "The Escalating Incidence of Suicide among African Americans: Implications for Counselors." Journal of Counseling and Development 85, no. 3 (2007): 370+.   Department of Health and Human Services. (2001). Mental health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity:  a Supplement to Mental Health: a Report of the Surgeon General. Fact Sheet for African Americans. Retrieved: May 22nd, 2008, from   Early, Kevin E. Religion and Suicide in the African-American Community. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.   Hrabowski, Freeman A., Kenneth I. Maton, and Geoffrey L. Greif. Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.   Joe, Sean, and Danielle M. Niedermeier. "Social Work Research on African Americans and Suicidal Behavior: A Systematic 25-Year Review." Health and Social Work 33, no. 4 (2008): 249+.   Lyon, Maureen E., Marilyn Benoit, Regina M. O'Donnell, Pamela R. Getson, Tomas Silber, and Thomas Walsh. "Assessing African American Adolescents' Risk for Suicide Attempts: Attachment Theory." Adolescence 35, no. 137 (2000): 121.   McLoyd, Vonnie C., Nancy E. Hill, and Kenneth A. Dodge, eds. African American Family Life: Ecological and Cultural Diversity. New York: Guilford Press, 2005.   Rome, Dennis. Black Demons: The Media's Depiction of the African American Male Criminal Stereotype. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004.   Ross, Marilyn J. Success Factors of Young African-American Males at a Historically Black College. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1998.   World Health Organization (2000). What About Boys? A Literature Review on the Health and Development of Adolescent Boys. Geneva: World Health Organization. 