Prevent suicide among a “hidden population” in public housing

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New research suggests that African American families living in public housing are a “hidden population” when it comes to national suicide prevention efforts.

The study showed 11% of adolescents and blacks living in a mid-Atlantic the development reported that for the previous twelve months they had made a plan to die by suicide.

The finding is in line with previous research: that young African Americans are the fastest growing group who engage in suicidal behavior and die by suicide and have the highest suicide mortality rate among any other racial group. or ethnic minority, from 2.55 per 100,000 in 2007 to 4.82 per 100,000 in 2017.

Men were more likely than women to have devised a suicide plan, and it is true it increased the chances of a young person engaging in suicidal behavior: mothers who were currently incarcerated or fathers with a history of alcohol abuse.

Researchers suggest that the findings justify expanding the types of locations that have been identified by national suicide prevention experts as the best places to offer prevention programs. Instead of basing interventions on Researchers argue that schools or schools should offer culturally appropriate suicide prevention interventions in the same public housing communities as well as in these other locations.

Although public housing was originally conceived as a temporary residence for transient families, changes in society — the collapse of manufacturing jobs, the cocaine epidemic, and welfare warrants, among others — they combined to leave most families in these developments without the means to move.

“I call it a‘ constellation of correlations. ’There was no further transition and these communities were devastated and as a result a kind of‘ Lord of the Flies ’narrative is seen where children were left without wanting their way, ”said Camille R. Quinn, lead author of the study and assistant professor of social work at Ohio State University.

“Today, even though there is not so much drug trafficking, it is still part of the tapestry in these communities and that has definitely left a mark. And parents and their children are likely to live with the consequences,” Quinn said. . “If either parent is in or out of the prison system, or has charges or offenses on the record, that makes it harder for them to find work and that makes it harder for them to do the best they can for their children.”

The study is published online at Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Inequalities.

This study used selected data from a broader research project that examined the association of residents in public housing between neighborhood factors and health risk behaviors. The sample of a subset of participants in the initial study included 190 young African Americans and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 years.

Quinn and colleagues analyzed the results of survey questions that asked young people if they had made a plan to attempt suicide in the past twelve months, if any of the parents were or had previously been in the prison and if either parent has had problems with illegal substances or consuming too much alcohol.

Nearly 34% of fathers and 8.4% of mothers were imprisoned at the time of collecting survey data and there were more fathers than mothers who had drug and alcohol problems. Statistical analysis showed that a father’s previous alcohol problem or the mother’s current prison had the strongest relationship to a young man’s plan to die by suicide. Men were significantly more likely than women to plan suicide.

“It’s significant that so many men report a plan to die by suicide, which is really cheeky,” Quinn said, adding that this finding matches the patterns seen in previous research: women and women in general have a lot more likely to think, plan, and attempt suicide, but survive, while young men who have decided they will die will be more likely to follow suit.

Researchers cite U.S. Census data showing that public housing accounts for nearly a quarter of households in the most segregated and least-favored neighborhoods in the United States, and African-American households account for 51% of families living in public housing in these neighborhoods. Of these families, 29% have been contacted by child protection services, suggesting that these housing communities are marked by violence and social problems, including parental substance abuse and imprisonment, which have been linked in previous research to the suicidal behavior of young people.

The results of the study imply that African American families living in public housing should be the subject of evidence-based family-centered interventions in their residential communities, according to the researchers, which could lead to the development of practices. of most effective suicide prevention for this specific population. .

The National Action Plan for Suicide Prevention (Task Force) Prioritizing Research published a plan in 2014 to reduce suicide attempts and deaths by 40% or more in 2024. The plan recommended reaching “limited” populations through interventions in hospital emergencies, schools, prisons, and mental health and substance abuse centers: systems from which families living in public housing may be isolated and therefore lose them dissemination of prevention.

Meanwhile, Quinn investigates possible factors beyond the family that could influence, positively or negatively, suicidal behavior in African American adolescents and young adults living in public. .

“What impact can school or peers have?” she said. “In this document, we don’t even know if the young people in this sample have any involvement or not in any system: child welfare, special education or juvenile justice. We would assume that, if they were, this would have implications for what could be done. a kind of consideration for treatment “.


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More information:
Camille R. Quinn et al, An Assessment of the Role of Parental Imprisonment and Substance Abuse in Suicide Planning of Young African American Young Adults, Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Inequalities (2021). DOI: 10.1007 / s40615-021-01045-0

Citation: Preventing suicide among a “hidden population” in public housing (2021, June 4) recovered on June 5, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-suicide-hidden-population-housing. html

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