African American Teacher: Chato here’s some “history” – while “we” have a high record of homicides committed with a firearm. White Americans hold the record for firearm suicide! That’s ever since they started Stats. I’m terrified of the day you realize the gun turns the other way!!!
Caption: African American History and Suicide Prevention
Thirty Two years ago the New York Times ran an article were a Dr. Richard H. Seiden, professor of behavioral sciences at the University of California’s School of Public Health in Berkeley:
” suggested that among blacks ”only the strongest survive.” They, he said, ”are probably very different than the whites whose advancement to old age is not so keyed to survival of the strongest.” The black elderly, he said, feel ”a triumph in surviving against adversity.”Dr. Seiden said, the loss of status – a factor not shared by many white women and nonwhites because the effects of discrimination gave them little status to lose -appears to be a major cause of the higher suicide rates.”
“WHY ARE BLACKS LESS SUICIDE PRONE THAN WHITES?”
“By JOSEPH WILLIAMS STRIKING differences in the suicide rates for various ethnic groups in the United States are shown by Government statistics of recent years. Whites are increasingly likely to take their own lives as they grow older while the suicide rate among blacks and some other minority groups peaks in the 20′s and then declines. Among middle-aged and elderly Americans, the overall suicide rate for whites is about three times the rate for blacks. For example, the 1978 figures from the National Center for Health Statistics show 40.8 suicides for every 100,000 white men 65 years of age and older as against 12.1 for nonwhites. For white women the rate was 7.9, compared with 3.1 for nonwhites.” – New Times February 9, 1982 Science
Well, it’s been 32 years and the black/white ratio has not changed much. Over that time period, we have seen the computer age go from big bulky word processors to super computers to smart phones -tablets. The data collecting is better now then it was 32 years ago, and still white Americans lead the pack of suicides.
If there ever was a case for gun control it would not be for “mass shootings“, while it’s true…it leaves innocent victims in the wake and it’s sad that it happens…About 1% of all murders nationally are mass killings. Since 2006, there have been more than 225 mass killings in the United States. With an average victims ratio of 4 per mass killing, you’re looking at 900 plus victims including killer whom in most cases committed suicide or were killed by police as four or more. NINE HUNDRED INNOCENT victims over an 8 year period, but that number is nothing when you consider over the same 8 year period the average annual suicide rate in the USA was between 11% and12% or about 33-38k/year or 264,000 suicides. The focus needs to be more on prevention of suicide; wouldn’t you think?
Suicide Rates by Race/Ethnicity – In 2010, the highest U.S. suicide rate (14.1) was among Whites and the second highest rate (11.0) was among American Indians and Alaskan Natives (Figure 5). Much lower and roughly similar rates were found among Asians and Pacific Islanders (6.2), Blacks (5.1) and Hispanics (5.9). http://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures
What can African American History Teach Us about Suicide Prevention? It’s hard to say because suicide and homicide both end with death. New studies show that the CDC knows the reported numbers of suicides may not ever be correct, with family members and loved ones working hard to get the medical examiner ruling the death ‘ANYTHING BUT SUICIDE’ – enter the new term: accidental overdose.
Still, why is it white Americans opt-out more than their ethnic counterparts? Is it as the 32 year study suggests, that they had harder lives and can take more BULL$#!% in their lives and that white people are hopeless and just giving up more?
Social Factors are changed/changing – even though the numbers are low – they are catching up each year. Read: http://nihrecord.od.nih.gov/newsletters/2010/06_25_2010/story2.htm
We need to get the over-all numbers down – to do that, we need to educate – and knowing what group(s) may be at the highest risk factor(s) is only a starting point as to where/what to focus on to help. How can we get more involved in suicide prevention?