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Suicide Prevention In The Black Community Summit Re-Cap


The Suicide Prevention In The Black Community Summit: Reclaiming Hope and Saving Lives, was held in Columbus, Ohio on June 27, 2023.  


 Between 2014 and 2019, the suicide rate in the Black community in the United States increased by 30 percent, according to data published by the Journal of the American Medical Association.  In response to this, the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation(OSPF) hosted several listening sessions across the state to learn why.  From geographic factors and a lack of resources to systemic racism and stigma, there are many reasons a Black individual may not find the help they need.  

During the Summit, the Foundation addressed the most relevant and cutting-edge strategies and resources to help facilitate, strengthen, and increase capacity and support resiliency to address suicide in the Black community in a culturally-responsive way.  

The sponsors of the Summit included; the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services, Ohio Rise, Life Is Better With You Here, the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, KeyBank, and the Buckeye Health plan.

The agenda included topics around Building Awareness of the Factors That Contribute to Mental Health and Suicide in the Black community, Supportive Family Systems as a Protective Factor, Turning Prayers into Poetry, Lethal Means and Suicide Prevention, The Role of Faith Leaders in Suicide Prevention, and A Call to Action- Reducing the Factors Contributing to Mental Health and Suicide in the Black Community.  


Dr. Rheeda Walker (right) Award-winning professor and clinical psychologist, social justice advocate, and author of "The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health, and Denise Holcomb (left), Founder and Executive Director of Removing The Stigma, Speaker, Peer Recovery Supporter, Mental Health Recovery Coach, Mental Health Advocate, and Suicide Bereavement Clinician.  

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