A new study shows that while suicide rates are increasing in the United States, among Latinx it is not. The report comes from Kaiser Health News which factors in a considerable increase in suicides in the country — a whopping “30 percent since the turn of the century.”
But how can it be? Latinx face an enormous amount of stressors and anxiety, now more than ever, and yet find a way to survive and do not turn to suicide as their last resort. Kaiser Health News factors in one key element that shows why Latinx suicide rates are not rising.
It all boils down to family and community. The report states that because Latinx have a tight-knit support group, the likelihood that they will be victims of suicide is much less than non-Latinx.
Kimberly Gallegos, a mental health worker, was dealing with a Latino man in his 30s who was thinking about suicide and was threatening to take medication in order to overdose. After meeting his family, Gallegos realized that the man lived among a good support group and was better off with his family than in a hospital.
“It definitely did make me feel a lot more comfortable knowing that now that the family was aware of what he was going through and experiencing, that they would be a lot more vigilant with him,” Gallegos said, according to Kaiser Health News.
The report does show an increase in suicides among young Latinx, however, not enough of an increase to affect the overall group population. “In 2017, 8.2 percent of Hispanic high school students attempted suicide in the prior year compared with 6.1 percent of whites and 9.8 percent of blacks, according to federal data,” Kaiser Health News reports.
One interesting factor from this report is the fact that white people are more likely to leave a note — an explanation of why they committed suicide — more than any other group. For one Latino, who was referenced in the report, once he realized that suicide was considered a sin in his mother’s religion, he had a change of heart and decided to seek help instead.
So, while some Latinx face problems including discrimination, low paying jobs, or no health insurance (sometimes all of these things combined) — families and community helps survivors see and feel hope.