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“Is This Really Our Problem?”: A Qualitative Exploration of Black Americans’ Misconceptions about Suicide
Deviant Behavior  (IF1.716),  Pub Date : 2022-01-17, DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2022.2026746
Tierra James, Kamesha Spates, Jenny L. Cureton, Sweta Patel, Christina Llyod, Diamond Daniel


Rates of suicide within the Black community are increasing. Rising rates, coupled with institutional racism, impacts how Black perceive suicide as a problem in their communities. This paper examines the misconceptions that Black Americans hold about the topic of suicide. The current project included data from 25 self-identifying Black adults living in Northeast Ohio. We used a thematic analysis approach to data analysis. Through in-depth interviews, we identified five themes that highlight prominent misconceptions about suicide in Northeast Ohio’s Black community: (1) suicide is related to personal inadequacies; (2) suicide is not a pressing issue in the Black community; (3) clashing perceptions of Blackness and the mentally ill; (4) mentally ill and hopeless; and (5) suicidal thoughts are crazy and will pass. These findings and implications for professionals and for community leaders and members are discussed in detail.