New York's First Lady "Shocked And Saddened" By Rising Suicides Of Black Children

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Chirlane McCray

Chirlane McCray, who has made shattering the stigma around mental health and increasing access to mental health services and resources the chief focus of her platform, issued a statement folllowing a story in The New York Times about the rapid increase in the rate of suicide among Black children.

“Like so many parents, I was shocked and saddened to learn that the suicide rate among Black children – too many of whom are exposed to trauma, stress, and violence – has nearly doubled," New York's First Lady, McCray, said. "This study should serve as a wakeup call for all of us. It is our shared responsibility to intervene when our children are struggling. The health and well-being of all our children is our highest priority. That is why we must work, as citizens and as a City, to reach children where they are – in the home and in the classroom – to get the services they need and deserve.”

The New York Times article reported that researchers found that:

[] Measuring for children between ages of 5 to 11, and covering 1993 to 2012, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics the suicide rate among Black children nearly doubled since the early 1990s.

[] The suicide rates rate had risen so steeply among Black children — to 2.54 from 1.36 per one million children — that it was substantially above the rate among White children by the end of the period. For White children the rate declined to to 0.77 per million from 1.14.

The New York Times reported: "The researchers used national data based on death certificates that listed suicide as the underlying cause. In the study, they offered a few possible explanations for the difference, including that black children are more likely to be exposed to violence and traumatic stress, and that black children are more likely to experience an early onset of puberty, which can increase the risk of depression and impulsive aggression. But it was not clear whether those characteristics had changed much over the period of the study and would account for the sharp rise."

[] Gun deaths among White boys had gone down by about half while staying about the same for Black boys; on the other hand, suicides by hanging, roughly tripled among Black boys and was virtually unchanged for Whites. 

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