b'COMMUNITYA Matter of Life and DeathBy Dr. Carolyn Phillips than all other ethnic groups in that age group. Theirthem from getting the necessary life-saving support. data reports a decrease in the rate of suicide amongTheratesofsuicideamongchildrenofalleth-youngadultAfricanAmericanmales,whileratesnicitiesshouldbealarming.Theincreasingrate W HY? The question seemed to echo off the wallshave increased for young Hispanic and white males.for African-American children presents a daunting of the church as a crowd of mourners slowlyNational Institute of Mental Health statistics showchallengefortheparents,caretakersandprofes-walked past the casket. He was young (30), hand- ashockingincreaseintherateofsuicideamongsionals responsible for preserving their well-being. In some, smart and talented. As an aspiring ChristianAfricanAmericanchildrenages9-11,surpassingaddition to the early loss of life, It is likely children rapper, his music inspired young people who down- that of all other ethnic groups. Demographic infor- withunresolvedsuicidalfeelingsgrowintoadults loaded it on Apple itunes. He had a loyal crew ofmation provides an overview of the issue, but doesat higher risk for suicidal behavior. Neither of the fellow musicians who wore t-shirts with the logo henot answer the lingering Why of suicide. Researchyoungmenmentionedearlierhadaknownchild-designed. He was active in his church, well-liked andattemptingtoexplaincausesofsuicidelooksathood history of suicidal ideations, but it is possible respected. He had two loving parents and brothersissuesofmentalillness(depressionandbipolarthat there were signs of emotional fragility that were who were his best friends. Why did this young Africandisorderpresenthigherrisks),substanceabuse,overlooked. American man decide to take his own life? The lossfamily trauma and genetics. The recent suicides ofThequestionofwhy?mayneverberesolved, ofthisbeautifulspiritwashardenough,butthispublicfiguresKateSpadeandAnthonyBourdainbut it is time to ask what? What must the mental wasthesecondsuicideofayoung,giftedAfricanwere linked to depression. However, these explana- health community do to take a proactive approach to Americanmaninmylifewithineighteenmonths.tions do not account for the deaths of young adultssuicide. The time is right to acknowledge suicide as The first, a talented artist in his thirties, also leftand children who showed no overt signs of depres- a major health issue in the African-American com-withoutanexplanation.Theheartbreakwasalsosion or mental illness and had no significant historymunity. Education is the first step. A comprehensive overwhelming for his family and friends. Neither ofof trauma.education/outreach/interventionapproachmust these young men showed the signs typically identi- Reports that rates of suicide among young adultinclude all of the major conduits of information and fiedinsuicidepreventionliterature.NeitherleftaAfrican-Americanmalesaredecliningandlowerservice that have historical roots in the community. note to explain "Why?"thanthoseofotheryoungmenmaynotgiveanYouth groups can sponsor focus groups with youth InarecentDenverPostarticle, membersof theaccurate picture of the plight of this demographic.to determine what kinds of services they would be Ute Mountain Native American community asked theSuddenviolentdeathsinthispopulationdeservewilling to access in times of distress. Health/mental same question after the suicides of two middle schoolfurtherinvestigatedtodetermineifsomesuicideshealth professionals can and must play an active role students. The article reported suicide is the secondaremaskedbyautoaccidents,accidentaldrugindevelopingpartnershipswiththeagenciesand leading cause of death among American Indians andoverdoses and other self-destructive behaviors lead- institutions that reach parents and children to share Alaskan Natives in the 10 to 24 age group. Centering to death. Expressions of helplessness and hope- information about causes, risks and interventions. for Disease Control (CDC) statics confirm that sui- lessnessoftenassociatedwithsuicidearesubjectChurches,communitygroupsandmediaoutlets cide among young adult Native Americans is highertoculturalimplicationsthatmaymakeitdifficultcan commit to opening dialogues that help children, to identify them in males who are discouraged fromyouth and young adults recognize and seek help for showing emotional weakness. The young man whodepression, anxiety and other emotional stressors. lashes out in anger or shuts down and refuses toAfrican-American psychiatrists, psychologists, social Reports that rates of suicidecommunicatefeelingsmaybejustasemotionallyworkers and counselors can commit to ensuring that fragile as one who openly shows depression or anxi- culturally competent education programs and inter-among young adult African- ety. Unfortunately, mainstream society seems moreventions are available throughout our communities. American males are lower thancomfortable punishing the angry young man thanThis article is my first step in keeping a promise seeking to uncover deeper emotional distress. Boysmade to the brother of the 30 year-old mentioned those of other young men may notas young as elementary school age are often labeledearlier that we would work together to turn grief into aggressiveorbehaviorallychallengedwhenmoreaction. The next steps may be difficult, but neces-give an accurate picture of theculturallycompetentapproacheswouldidentifysary to help save lives. plight of this demographic.underlying depression, fear and helplessness. YearsIf anyone is interested in joining us, please email of masking emotional distress and possible distrust email@example.comCHURCH NEWSA Renewed HopePowell, under the eminent leadershipprevalent paralyzing fear.Leadershipferees, attendees, and guests to "have watch on bocnews.com of DIMWMW President- Dr. ClaudetteConferenceChairs,Kennedyandarenewedhopeinthesupernatural E. Sweet, prayerfully selected a themePowellconsistentlyreiteratedthatandGod\'sendlesspower."Moreover, that echoes the charge to directly com- whether we are Baptist, COGIC, Fullto remember, "renewed hope helps us By Lexine Reese James bat the obstacles and conditions thatGospel,Methodist,etc.ifwearenottake the limits off of GOD," [and even-impedelivingvictoriouslyandminis- intentionally walking with God, stayingtuallyremovingthelimitsonusas tering effectively.in his word and will, we can fall victimindividuals.]"A renewed hope comes M any would agree that there is pan- The35thLeadershipConferenceto hopelessness.with allowing God to change our heart, demicdiscouragement,despair,weekendcommencedFriday,MarchThe morning session concluded withbut he can only do that by changing dejection,depression,desolation,8, 2019, at the Blair Caldwell Library.a sweet treat, as the assembly pausedour mind." "A renewed hope keeps us oppression, anxiety, doom, and gloom,The "Meet and Greet"facilitated bybriefly to enjoy cake, convey best wish- ever mindful that we are free, free in even periodically among believers, lead- Apostle Sandra Powell, Evg. Tywannaes,andthecelebrationofDIMWMWChrist and, as a result, we do not have ers, and those entrusted with promi- Jones and Angela Faison was also anPresident, Dr. Claudette Sweet\'s 80thto be stuck in perpetual hopelessness." nent ministry roles. Thus, the Denvereveningofnetworkingforwomeninbirthday.The officers, chairs, and planning com-InterdenominationalMinisters\'Wivesvarious areas of ministry. All enjoyedLeadershipLuncheonkeynotemittee extend thanks to the many, many andMinisters\'Widows(DIMWMW)food,funandrichfellowship,awashspeaker, the renowned Bishop Corlettaparticipants and attendees that contrib-35thAnnualLeadershipConferencewith collaborative and highly competi- J.Vaughn(Detroit,MI)chargedcon- uted (in any way) to the success of the resoundedatimelyandbefittingtive games and activities. Leadership Conference weekend.theme: "A Renewed Hope." In our cur- TheLeadershipConferencecontin-rent time and season, who would notuedSaturdaymorning,March9th benefit from a renewed hope? withpraiseandworship(facilitated In 1983, God gave Dr. Ollie BarefieldbyMarshaWadeNicholsandAngela the vision to profile the works of min- Fiaison).Threeintensiveworkshop isters\'wivesandwidowsinaculmi- sessions followed this high praise peri-nationofactivitywhereallchurchod.Workshopfacilitators,Evg.Dione denominationsinDenverandvicin- Clafer (Drugs and Alcohol), Dr. Carla itycouldcometogether.Accordingly,Coburn (Depression and Suicide) and thefirstleadershipluncheonheldPastorDr.P.M.WynnGrove(Fear) in1984accomplishedthisobjec- alledified,inspiredand,encouraged tive.Throughtheensuingyears,theall in attendance.Drawing from per-dedicatedofficersandmembersofsonal experiences, each speaker deliv-DIMWMWhaveremainedcommit- eredimmeasurablekeyscriticalto ted to Dr. Barefield\'s vision and pas- unlockingtheoppressivebondsof sion.LeadershipConferenceChairs,hopelessness.Extremehopelessness DIMWMW1stV.P.-ShepherdessDr.that leads to drug abuse, alcoholism, Odie Kennedy and Apostle Dr. Sandradepressingthoughtsofsuicideand 10 APRIL 2019 BOCNEWS.com'