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Stories from Backstage

Suicide Awareness in Minority Communities

Special contribution by Fabian Wood of the D. Wood Foundation

As suicide rates rise to the second leading cause of death for persons 10-34 in Texas, our communities are looking to find ways to build awareness around a topic that many only just realized existed.

In our community, we all deal with mental fatigue from everyday obstacles and social injustices that make us feel alone in our thoughts and situations.

And when you consider the social barriers that limit access to mental health resources and education, our community seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to understanding why suicide prevention should be important to us.

The effects of suicide on those left behind can take a lifetime to recover from. For me that process started when I was 19, after my mother passed by suicide at the age of 38. As a young man, I can’t remember one conversation I ever had about mental health growing up and now as an adult I strive to equip myself and others with tools for suicide prevention I wish I had before. Tools such as, being able to identify a person in mental distress, having shareable resources when needed and being able to provide a safe environment for others to openly talk about their mental health.

So where do we start? Underserved communities have always found unique ways to achieve the same goals. We must establish a Culture of Support for one another around suicide prevention tips and educate ourselves on mental wellness. We must use the Power of Conversation that we all possess! Because the time it takes to engage with someone new or a distant loved one is the time it can take to save a life.

The D.Wood Foundation’s mission is to enhance awareness for mental health and advocate for suicide prevention and advocate for mental health reform for minorities. Visit their website to learn more.

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