Pandemic, racism compound worries about Black suicide rate

July 12, 2020
By Sophia Tareen – Associated Press

CHICAGO — Jasmin Pierre was 18 when she tried to end her life, overdosing on whatever pills she could find. Diagnosed with depression and anxiety, she survived two more attempts at suicide, which felt like the only way to stop her pain.

Years of therapy brought progress, but the 31-year-old Black woman’s journey is now complicated by a combination of stressors hitting simultaneously: isolation during the pandemic, a shortage of mental health care providers and racial trauma inflicted by repeated police killings of Black people.

“Black people who already go through mental health issues, we’re even more triggered,” said Pierre, who lives in New Orleans. “I don’t think my mental health issues have ever, ever been this bad before.”

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