Remember, I Love You
African Americans, historically, have not been very transparent about a family medical history regarding mental issues. Some think that death from suicide does not occur in the black community. This certainly is not the case. Death from suicide has increased over the years, among African American males, with a higher risk between the ages of 15 and 24.
Issues regarding addressing suicidal thoughts (deaths) have often been confusing to the lay person. However, if fully understood, family and friends could prevent suicide deaths. Suicide claim the lives of 43,000 people a year.
Early signs of suicide are increased substance abuse, anxiety, agitation, inability to sleep, uncontrolled anger, mood changes, and feelings of hopelessness. Do not be afraid to trust your instincts.
Contact a mental health professional or the mental health hotline if a loved one exhibits warning signs or behavior related to suicide such as announcing a plan to kill or harm one’s self. A person who asks about suicidal thoughts does not cause him or her to think about suicide.
A step in the right direction is to remind the family member that he or she is loved.
Your opinion matters.
Thaddeus J. Bell, MD
I am Dr. Thaddeus John Bell, closing the gap in health disparities for African Americans and the underserved.
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