At a time when the suicide rate of Black children continues to rise, we’re offering parents some advice from experts on how to identify the warning signs.
According to a 2015 study from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicides amongst Black children have doubled since 1993. For Black boys specifically, the numbers have nearly tripled.
This topic has garnered national attention following the release of Netflix’s hit series 13 Reasons Why, which tells the story of a high school junior who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes explaining why she did it and who she felt was partly responsible. As Entertainment Weekly reports, the series was recently renewed for a second season after becoming the most tweeted about show this year.
Kristin Wilson of Newport Academy, who works with children nationally on mental health issues, shares tips with ESSENCE about the signs that parents should look out for if they think their child may be suffering from depression.
“Parents need to see this and have conversations about this and issues that are sometimes touchy and uncomfortable. And suicide is one of them … [13 Reasons Why] brings way more attention to what parents can begin to look for. If you don’t get lost in the drama and the clichés, I think it can be really helpful,” Wilson said.
These Are 5 Warning Signs For Potentially Suicidal Teens:
1. A change in behavior and/or appetite
2. Making statements of hopelessness; for example, ‘I wish I wasn’t here’ or ‘I want to be invisible’
3. Suddenly becoming isolated or depressed
4. Neglecting their personal appearance
5. Making excuses for not wanting to go to school