A study posted on the website of the University of Michigan (UM) on Wednesday found that various forms of discrimination are associated with increased rates of depression and suicidal thoughts among African American men.
Drawing data from the African American male subsample of the National Survey of American Life, totaling 1,271 people, the researchers asked participants if they experienced discrimination in their everyday lives, which included being insulted or harassed, being treated with less respect or being perceived as incompetent.
Respondents later identified the primary reason for such experiences. Response options included race, gender, age, ethnicity and body size. Participants also reported if they had ever seriously considered ending their own lives.
The study indicated that the link between racial discrimination and thoughts of suicide was statistically significant.
The study suggested that some mental health interventions currently exist that work to address African American men’s mental health broadly. Few, however, specifically address suicidal behaviors.
Suicide deaths among African American men have risen dramatically during the last 20 years.
“One viable option may include expanding current mental health interventions to include culturally relevant suicide prevention resources that also offer strategies and techniques for dealing with discrimination,” said Janelle Goodwill, the study’s lead author and a doctoral candidate in social work and psychology.
The findings have been published in Archives of Suicide Research. Enditem