January 23, 2022

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Lesson of the Day: ‘Why Are More Black Kids Suicidal? A Search for Answers.’

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4. What data does the article reveal about connections between suicide and race, gender and sexuality? What is your reaction to the statistics included in the article?

5. What are some reasons there has been a lack of research looking specifically at the racial and ethnic differences in youth suicidal ideation, plans or suicide attempts?

6. According to Arielle Sheftall, a principal investigator at the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, why is it important to talk about race and culture when discussing suicide?

7. What do you think of the programs developed by Lisa Ellis, a counselor at a high school in Cleveland, and Michael A. Lindsey, the executive director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University? Does your school have any programs or services for students to support mental health and well-being?

Create an emotional-wellness tool kit.

What tools and strategies do you have to feel your best? Take a look at this Emotional Wellness Checklist from the National Institutes of Health. Here are the six strategies they recommend with links to ways to practice them:

In addition to the above strategies, here is one more:

  • Journal. Take a moment to check in and respond to this question: How are you, really? You can use this list of feeling words as you try to name how you’re feeling and write it down. Try keeping a record of how you’re feeling for several days or a week. What do you notice? What is bringing you joy? What is feeling good in your life? What is feeling bad or challenging? What is one change you could make to feel happier, more connected or better motivated?

After exploring the ideas above, design your own personalized emotional-wellness tool kit to help you successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times. Which strategies work best for you? And try to be as specific a possible, such as including friends and family members you can reach out to, the sports or physical activities you can do to release stress, or your favorite places to walk in your neighborhood.

Remember, though, none of these strategies are an alternative for seeking help when in crisis. If you are having thoughts of suicide, and you live in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

Additional Teaching and Learning Opportunities

  • Learn more about the role of gender in suicide. Read this article from September about rising suicide rates among Black girls. What did the information in the study reveal? Why do researchers and psychologists think these numbers might be rising? What do they think should be done? What do you think?


Want more Lessons of the Day? You can find them all here.

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