The deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have sparked conversations on suicide. Between 1999 and 2016, suicide rates have risen in all but one state across age, gender, ethnicity, and race. This shocking statistic has prompted many to question what can be done to help those with suicidal thoughts. And while these conversations are necessary, they do not always take people of color into consideration. But on Sunday, POC healers and therapists will come together to help this underserved community.
Following Bourdain’s death, Nalgona Positivity Pride – a platform that promotes body positivity – asked followers, “People who have attempted or contemplated suicide: What do you need from the world? What do you need from us?” The post, which pointed out that calling a hotline – which can end up getting the police involved – isn’t helpful or safe for everyone. Nearly 300 people responded, and their honest and heartfelt answers inspired Shannen Roberts – a Peruvian-American editor of The Strange Is Beautiful, a self-help blog – to take action.
Roberts began gathering the responses in a document and realized some patterns. “I found the most common things requested from greatest to least were: someone to listen to their feelings, an in-person visit / platonic touch, someone checking in with them, cultural change / hope, and support from friends and family,” according to a press release.
Now on Sunday, June 24, The Strange Is Beautiful is hosting a very important discussion. “From why and what to do when friends can’t help, to police brutality, to the 72-hour hold, to creating an entirely different mental health system, TSIB is starting a discussion on topics that matter most to POC struggling with suicide,” the press release reads.
Suicide is sometimes considered a “white thing,” but it affects our communities. AS a matter of fact, Latina teens have the highest suicide rate in the United States. A 2015 survey from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 15 percent of Latinas have attempted suicide, according to Univision. But even more Latina teens – nearly 26 percents – have considered taking their lives. Dr. Luis Zaya, dean of the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work, explains that it mainly affected US-born teens with immigrant parents, who don’t necessarily have the vocabulary to discuss mental illness. As a result, they don’t always seek the help they need.
Head to @TheStrangeIsBeautiful on Sunday at 1 p.m. PST to join the discussion.