Helping to Eradicate Suicide Among African
American Men (A blueprint for a future program.)
By:Violette L. Meier andTread Maines
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
My program seeks to pull
black men from the dark
depths of depression into
the blinding light of God’s
To eradicate suicide in
the African American
During 1980-1995, the
suicide rate for
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.
system where men can
be uplifted and be
helped with issues and
1 The LORD is my light
and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the
life; of whom shall I be
afraid? Psalm 27:1
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.
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.
…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
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
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.
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.
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.
Learn to LoveYourself (a self esteem booster
Your Body isYourTemple (men’s health
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)
Pass out information regarding mental health
Set up help lines, prayer groups,
psychological directory, etc.
Create support systems.
Preach a sermon about suicide, hopelessness,
Inform families and friends about the issue.
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.
Dwelling in God’s presence and under God’s
protection the community shall:
Put God first in faith and practice of high
Love one another like we love ourselves
Respect each other
Encourage one another
Work without ceasing to better the
Support one another without judgment
Resolve all conflicts peacefully and
Create a networking system that will aid in
employment, social services, food and
shelter, emotional well being, and spiritual
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.
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