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Sharing – Suicide prevention has a systemic racism problem. Here’s how to fix it.

The article below doesn’t offer any easy answers, because there aren’t any, but it does do a good job of getting all of us to consider how we handle suicide prevention. Some things in that area are universal, everyone can keep in touch with friends or family they are concerned about, everyone benefits from open lines of communication. On the other hand, there are also some recommendations that may not look the same for different people, case in point:

“When, for example, a suicide hotline contacts emergency services because a caller wants to die and has the means and plans to do so, a white person might be greeted by concerned police officers. A Black person, however, might be seen as threatening and approached with a firearm. “

Clearly, these are the things that we need to stop and consider. Not that we simply stop referring to emergency services in an emergency, but we consider how that might make things worse, and have some alternatives. We don’t have a lot of alternatives because we haven’t thought about these issues enough, and that may be because research on suicide prevention is done by a whole lot of white people who assume things like calling the police to assist is a benign thing that everyone would want to happen. Clearly, not everyone is going to respond the same way. Some cultural understanding might go a long way toward being a better resource for various races and ethnic groups, and saving more lives.

In the end, that’s the point. How do we save people, no matter who they are? Hopefully, these services can take a long, hard, look at these issues and find ways to do just that.

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