If African American boys are contemplating taking their lives at early ages, the hope for future generations is challenging at best. What is going on in African American communities that there is a lack of safe spaces for boys to express their emotions and to share their travails with supportive networks in lieu of ending their lives? The situation of African American boys (ages 5–11) committing suicide at higher levels—more than any other group—and the recent studies regarding the rising rates of suicide among African American adolescent boys (12 and older) call for greater reflection and more discourse around the mental health challenges faced by this group. We must identify the emotional and psychological reasons that underlie suicidal behaviors for African American boys and work to provide immediate intervention. Families, educators, and community workers play key roles in identifying signs of mental health challenges such as depression and connecting African American boys to mental health care services. In this article, the authors discuss specific ways to better support boys who exhibit early signs of depression and suicidal behavior. Topics discussed include (1) untreated depression among African American youth; (2) looking deeper at the reasons for untreated depression; (3) misunderstanding and denial of mental health challenges; (4) risk factors in schools; (5) harsh discipline practices; (6) low teacher expectations; and (7) disconnection from adults. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

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