Dial 988 from any phone in the US for immediate support.
You are not alone. Suicide is not the answer. There is hope.
Suicide rates in the Black community have been steadily rising over recent years. However, despite the increasing numbers, research has shown that the numbers are still likely underestimated. Black Americans use the mental health care system less and thus often do not have a history of a documented health diagnosis. The lack of care means there are no records of depression or previous suicide attempts. Instead of death reports indicating a history of depression or anxiety and medication use, as in white suicides, Black reports are less specific. Instead, they use words like “questionable” or “no further details.” 1 Suicide is a challenging issue in our community, especially with our youth. The resources on this page can help you navigate suicide and mental health issues with yourself, your family, or your friends.
Below we provide resources for suicide prevention. Please share this often and contact us if you have another great resource or correction.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
If you are suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the suicide and crisis lifeline by dialing 988 or calling 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The call is toll-free and confidential. You will be connected with a trained crisis worker. The line also provides Spanish-speaking counselors and options for deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals.
The chat is a service provided by the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The chat is available 24/7 across the US and certain territories.
IMAlive Crisis Chat
A non-profit, worldwide, 24/7, anonymous chatline to help anyone in crisis.
🏳️⚧️ Trans Lifeline
Trans Lifeline provides trans peer support. The community is run by and for trans people. Call 1-877-565-8860.
🇺🇸 Veterans Crisis Line
A 24-hour, toll-free hotline that offers phone, chat, and text options for vets and their families. Options for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.
How to Get Through It
- Fill out a Stanley-Brown Safety Plan
- Use one of the emergency methods above.
- Talk with a friend or family member. You are not alone. Many people have experienced the same thoughts you are having.
- Distract yourself with something you may enjoy. Listening to music, reading an engrossing novel, or cuddling with a pet may help.
- Talk to a professional.
Someone who is suicidal may do some of the following:
- Talk about wanting to die
- Show signs of feeling hopeless
- Feeling lots of guilt or shame
- Have trouble concentrating
- Aggressive behavior
- Intense mood swings
- Talk about being a burden
- Talk about having no reason to live
- Talk about feeling trapped or having no solutions
- Talk about unbearable physical or emotional pain
- Indulge in more drugs or alcohol
- Taking more risks that could lead to death
- Searching for methods to end life
- Withdraw from activities
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Say goodbye to friends and family
- Isolate themselves from friends, family, and community
- Give away possessions
- Making a will
- Thinking about or talking about death often
It’s important to remember that some people show NO signs. Check-in with your friends and family.
- Bipolar disorder
- Chronic pain or other serious health concern
- Traumatic brain injury
- Having access to lethal options such as firearms or pills
- Prolonged stress
- Major life changes
- Stressful events
- Someone else’s suicide
- Gender: More women attempt suicide, but men are 4x more likely to die by suicide
- Family history of suicide
- Family history of mental disorder or substance abuse
- Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
- Previous attempts
- Childhood abuse, neglect, or trauma
- Recently released from prison
Identifying Those at Risk
Emergency rooms are now using a four-question screening tool to help them identify adult patients that may be at risk of suicide.
How to Help a Friend or Family Member
- Ask them if they are okay or thinking of harming themselves. Speak openly and honestly.
- Express support.
- Don’t argue or threaten. Be patient. Speak in a relaxed, reassuring tone.
- Be direct about concerns.
- Keep them safe. Reduce access to lethal items or places.
- Don’t debate if suicide is right or wrong.
- Ask simple and direct questions.
- Encourage them to get help.
- Let them know that suicide is preventable and that treatments can be effective.
- Stay in touch. Keep in contact with them as the number of suicide deaths decreases when someone checks on them.
Therapy for Black Girls
Therapy for Black Girls is an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls.
Therapy for Black Men
“Provides proactive, multiculturally competent care to men of color.”
Black Men Heal
They offer eight free therapy sessions for those that qualify.
Black Therapist List
Black Therapist List is designed to de-stigmatize mental health and help normalize therapy in the Black community.
“Our therapists are dedicated to eradicating the negative stigma around therapy and opening doors for people of color to get the support they need to cope with life’s challenges.”
Melanin and Mental Health
“Melanin & Mental Health® was born out of a desire to connect individuals with culturally competent clinicians committed to serving the mental health needs of Black & Latinx/Hispanic communities.”
Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM)
Directory of Black health care providers.
More Hotlines & Resources
A number in the US for anyone that needs emergency referrals to social and community services.
CDC National HIV and AIDS Hotline
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
It Gets Better Project
The It Gets Better Project’s mission is to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) youth around the globe.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
- Novak, S. (2022, June 6). Suicides among black people may be vastly undercounted. Scientific American. Retrieved September 4, 2022, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/suicides-among-black-people-may-be-vastly-undercounted/