September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

(UNDATED) – September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 8-14.

Ball State University’s Jagdish Khubchandani, a community health professor, and his research partners at Ball State and other universities have examined the rising rates among African American teens and Latinos/Hispanics, suicides related to dating violence among teens, and how a lack of mental health professionals in rural areas is hurting small-town America.

The studies include:

  • Suicide rates for African-American adolescents are skyrocketing, says Jagdish Khubchandani, a health science professor, found that African-American adolescents (13–19 years of age) discovered that the rate of African-American male suicides increased by 60% and for AA females increased by 182% from 2001 to 2017. Over the 16-year period, there were 1,375 male suicides and 377 female suicides.  “The Changing Characteristics of African-American Adolescent Suicides, 2001–2017,” was recently published in the Journal of Community Health
  • More than one of every 10 Indiana youth experiences dating violence and victims are more likely to carry a weapon to school, be injured in a fight, suffer depression, drink excessively or even attempt suicide. “Adolescent Dating Violence in Indiana” analyzed the prevalence of adolescent dating violence and associated risk factors from 2001 to 2011 by reviewing data from the 2011Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. The biannual national school-based survey conducted by state organizations and Centers for Disease Control assesses six types of health-risk behaviors in youth.
  • Latina Adolescents Health Risk Behaviors and Suicidal Ideation and Suicide Attempts: Results from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2001–2013 “ found that suicidal ideation and suicide attempts are more common in Latina adolescents than White or African– American adolescents. Several health risk behaviors have been identified as being associated with Latina adolescent suicides. However, to date, no study has identified the consistency and stability of these risk behaviors over time.
  •  While the highly publicized deaths of celebrities shocked America, it is rural areas that are suffering the most, said researcher Jagdish Khubchandani, a health education researcher at Ball State University. In his recently published study, “Rural Mental Health Professionals’ Perspectives on Workforce Issues” Khubchandani found that 95 percent of mental health professionals in rural communities who were surveyed reported that they are not able to meet mental health needs of people in their communities, while 90 percent said was difficult to recruit and retain qualified professionals.