Mental health issues often go undiagnosed in the Black community at a higher rate than other racial groups. We are subjected not only to mainstream society’s mental health stigmas, but our own community’s expectation of strength, which often keeps those in need from reaching out for help when they really need it. Add to this disproportionate stress from institutional and racial violence, and minimal access to health care, and the results can be devastating, leading some of our best leaders and role models to take their own lives.
Motivational speaker, founder of “The #DarkSkinRedLipProject,” and the creator of the blog “ForBrownGirls,” Karyn Washington committed suicide on April 8. It was reported that she had been struggling with depression since the death of her mother a year earlier.
Though she was only 22 at the time of her death, Washington had already made major contributions to the African-American community by promoting self-love and challenging Eurocentric beauty standards.
Lee Thompson Young
Up-and-coming actor Lee Thompson Young, 29, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in August 2013. While there was no suicide note and therefore no real understanding of his motives, doctors reported that Young had been suffering from bipolar disorder for some time.
Young is best known for his roles on the television series “Rizzoli & Isles,” and as the title character on the Disney television show, “The Famous Jet Jackson.”
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