Latino Communities Are Bucking The Trend Of Rising Suicide Rates in The U.S.

But with an exception – Latina youth and teens are more likely to make a suicide attempt than their white peers.

By Alexandra HartDecember 20, 2018 1:57 pm,

Here’s a myth that just wont seem to go away: suicide rates increase during the holiday season. It’s a dangerous misconception that has been debunked time and time again, but it always pops back up around this time of year.

The truth, however, is that overall suicide rates in the United States are at a 50 year high. But research shows that Latino populations in the U.S. seem to be weathering this uptick better than others. The rate is less than one third of non-Hispanic whites.

There is one caveat here: Latino youth are more likely to attempt suicide than their white peers – with Latina girls and teens particularly vulnerable. That’s been the case for decades now, according to Dr. Luis Zayas, dean of the University of Texas School of Social Work and author of the book “Latinas Attempting Suicide: When Cultures, Families, and Daughters Collide.”

“That was happening as early as the 1980s,” Zayas says. “It wasn’t until the 1990s when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed through their surveys that indeed, young Latinas attempt suicide sometimes twice, one and a half times the rate of other youth in school, both males and females. And that pattern has continued since the origins of that survey, about 30 years now.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What cultural factors contribute to lower suicide rates among Latino populations, as a whole.

– Why that doesn’t necessarily translate to low rates of attempts among Latina girls and teens.

– What can be done to mitigate mental health issues among youth

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.