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Monday, July 15, 2024

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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure buildup; and a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

IN Black male suicides leave survivors without closure

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Monday, June 3, 2024   

June is Men's Health Awareness Month. Mental health professionals noted suicide rates are up and can be linked to the loss of a loved one or economic pressures.

An American Psychological Association report showed suicide is higher among Black males, leaving survivors questioning if they missed signs, are to blame or could have helped prevent the suicide.

B. Randal Horton, licensed clinical psychologist and owner of Epiphany Behavioral Services in Indianapolis, said in conversations with people who have contemplated suicide, their statements reflect despair.

"There's a strong sense of feeling helpless and hopeless," Horton explained. "'No matter how much I try, I'm not able to get out of this pain that I'm in,' and 'One of the few choices I think I have is whether I live or die.' And then of course, there's a misperception somehow if you die, wherever you go, or happens after, 'There's going to be better than what you are.'"

Childhood trauma can produce shame, guilt and a negative self-image people often carry into adulthood. Horton pointed out such feelings can interfere with the ability to self-regulate emotions and it can lead to isolation. A National Library of Medicine report of a University of Georgia study identified childhood adversity and the effects of racial discrimination as two key factors affecting Black men's mental health.

Horton added family, work or spousal issues can factor into suicide risk. For Black males, it can also be the absence of a clear cultural definition of manhood and the expectations it carries for boys becoming men. Horton explained young men are often left with no option but to adopt someone else's "poor representation" of masculinity.

"A lot of that has to do with controlling emotions, avoiding emotional expression, focusing on maybe more materialistic things," Horton emphasized. "To an extent some of that could be good, but I think it could get overblown."

Horton supports educating men on how to connect to and express their emotions. He warned against men obsessing over the stereotypes of being a provider, protector or procreator. The inability to meet stereotypes can create depression and spur thoughts of suicide to deal with the stresses.

If you are in crisis or know someone who is, call or text the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.


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