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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Recent suicides by public figures have added to the conversation about Black Americans and mental health.
Former Miss USA and attorney Cheslie Kryst was 30. Walking Dead star Moses Moseley was 31.
Ian Alexander Jr., the son of actress Regina King, was 26.
Chad Brown describes himself as a social butterfly. But when the pandemic began, his job asked him to work from home and he suddenly found himself isolated from friends, family, colleagues, and clients.
“When I had to lock down for days and weeks at a time, I started to get depressed and started to feel lonely,” Brown said.
Depression can lead to suicidal thoughts. Experts say people of color are at heightened risk.
According to the CDC, between 2018 and 2019, suicide rates decreased 2.4% among white people, but at the same time, they increased 2.5% among Black people.
“When I had to lock down for days and weeks at a time, I started to get depressed,” says Chad Brown of Philadelphia. Depression is strongly linked to suicide. People of color are at heightened risk. The @CDCgov says suicide rates went up 2.5% among black people from 2018 to 2019. pic.twitter.com/00ZHdUjZuA
— Madeleine Wright (@MWrightReports) February 3, 2022
“There aren’t necessarily more people experiencing these in the community,” Dr. Argie Allen-Wilson said. “It’s that the access to resources are not as available to many Black and Brown and Indigenous people.”
Allen-Wilson is a relationship therapist. She says the stigma surrounding mental health is a barrier to recovery.
“Self-care is a radical act of kindness to ourselves if we look at it from the perspective that everyone is deserving and has a right to mental health care,” Allen-Wilson said.
She says education is key to getting people struggling with mental health the help they need.
As for Brown, he’s had to adapt to a new normal to maintain his well-being.
“I haven’t been around people as often as I would like to be,” he said, “but I spend a lot of time FaceTiming people on my iPhone just to feel that human experience.”
If you or someone you know needs to talk with someone about mental health, help is out there.
You can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.
Help is also available from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. That number is 800-950-6264. You can also text 741-741.
This content was originally published here.