Culture of Caring

Does Our Unconscious Bias Cost Lives?

When we look at statistics about suicide among different demographic groups, there are obvious conclusions to draw. Suicide affects mostly older white men, right? Wrong!

From the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) 2.18.22

What We Misunderstand About Suicide among Black Americans

There is a common misconception that Black Americans are less affected by suicide than their White peers. In reality, suicide rates have been rising among Black people, particularly youth and young adults. According to experts, suicide research has focused mostly on White populations, leading to gaps in our understanding of suicide among Black populations. Studying the socioeconomic and cultural factors that put people at risk for suicide, such as racism or stoicism, can help inform more effective prevention efforts. “Culture, environment influences suicide risk,” said Lillian Polanco-Roman, an associate professor of psychology at the New School for Social Research. “That, I think, is recognized. But to what extent and in what ways, we still need more research.” Polanco-Roman and other experts say there is an urgent need for more culturally responsive mental health care and suicide prevention strategies that reduce risk and enhance protective factors for Black people.

Cheslie Kryst died by suicide, a shocking truth.

Learn more about preventing suicide among Black Americans.

A Culture of Caring: A Suicide Prevention Guide for Schools (K-12) was created as a resource for educators who want to know how to get started and what steps to take to create a suicide prevention plan that will work for their schools and districts. It is written from my perspective as a school principal and survivor of suicide loss, not an expert in psychology or counseling. I hope that any teacher, school counselor, psychologist, principal, or district administrator can pick up this book, flip to a chapter, and easily find helpful answers to the questions they are likely to have about what schools can do to prevent suicide.

Theodora Schiro