by Trey Coleman
With the recent suicide of Lee Thompson Young, The Famous Jett Jackson star, who most recently played Detective Barry Frost on TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles, I felt compelled to write this post. He was 29. Young black men are dying at such an alarm rate from gang violence, and while we are preoccupied with it, the suicide rate is climbing in the black community.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate has doubled for black males nationally since 1980, making it the third leading cause of death for black males, ages 15 to 24, trailing homicide, and car accidents. Suicide is considered taboo in the black community, but we can no longer hide behind the myth that blacks are too strong-minded, and would not take their own lives.
In the past, we struggled through slavery and hardship, but we found ways to persevere. Times have changed we have more blacks than ever before that are successful and are in different surroundings. Most in the black community are depressed and hopeless over the pressures of society’s ills that suicide is becoming the new out.
While the focus is on curbing gang violence, and it should be, suicide is becoming another dangerous threat to the black community. As the gap widens between rich and poor, and the black economic condition continues to deteriorate causes some to suffer in silence. Blacks are suffering in poverty and have mental health problems but refuse to seek help.
Many in the black community are ticking time bombs and are committing suicide out of hopelessness. Depression and post-traumatic stress disorders are color blind, and it is time we start recognizing this reality. Leanita McClain, an award-winning Chicago Tribune columnist and ghetto-to-Gold-Coast success story, wrote a generic suicide note “Happiness is a private club that will not let me enter” before taking her life according to her ex husband Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune. That was a profound statement, and it makes me wonder how many others feel the same way.
No one knows why this young man tragically took his life, as he did not leave a suicide note. It’s reported by various media outlets that he was a clean-cut kid with no history of drug use. So we are left to assume that he was suffering in silence.
If you are depressed, get help and stop feeling ashamed because of the stigma associated with seeking treatment. We must encourage friends and family members to speak up and seek help when needed. They are several preventative measures to turn to, other than drug or alcohol abuse — which is another form of suicide, in my opinion.
My biological father was an alcoholic, which ultimately caused him to lose his family. He suffered in silence and drinking soothed whatever ailed him. As a man, I often wonder had he sought help my life would have been much better. Today, when I see a father and his son having a conversation I feel this emptiness inside. All the money in the world cannot erase the feeling, and for that reason I have never had a drink.
My name is Trey Coleman. I’m blogging to give some insight on politics, music, and entertainment. I’m a Republican, and I believe in capitalism. Contact me on my website Treystruth.com or follow me on twitter at @Treyce43 (Treys Truth).