Suicide Prevention In U.S. Ethnic Minority Populations

Published In

Suicide Among Racial and Ethnic Groups: Theory, Research, and Practice



Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Minorities -- Suicidal behavior -- United States


Suicide is a global phenomenon in which thousands of individuals die daily. In the U.S., these potentially preventable deaths include 3,000 people of color (Leong, Leach, Yeh, & Chou, 2007). Since suicide is often misclassified (cf. Rockett, Samora, & Cobin, 2006), we suggest that the necessity of suicide prevention for people of color is even more urgent than is currently reflected in the scientific literature. The associated burden of suicide involves billions of dollars in medical costs and the profound emotional distress of family and friends (U.S. Public Health Service, 2001). A model of suicide that delineates the unique needs of underrepresented groups such as American Indian, African American, Asian American, and Latinos enlightens suicide prevention efforts for these and other ethnic minority groups in the U.S. The unwavering reality is that people of color are often on the receiving end of marginal health services in the U.S. and worldwide. Suicide prevention efforts must keep the pace of an increasingly diverse world in which non-majority adults and youth demonstrate ever more needs for culturally relevant interventions.


Book Contents:

Suicide among racial and ethnic minority groups : an introduction / Frederick T. Leong and Mark M. Leach -- Suicide : a cross-cultural theory / Antoon A. Leenaars -- Theories of suicide / David Lester -- Understanding the role of cultural factors in relation to suicide among African Americans : implications for research and practice / Shawn O. Utsey, Pia Stanard, and Joshua N. Hook -- Suicide risk in Latino and Latina adolescents / Yovanska M. Duarté-Vélez and Guillermo Bernal -- Suicide among Asian Americans : a critical review with research recommendations / Frederick T.L. Leong, Mark M. Leach, and Arpana Gupta -- Examining suicide and suicidal-related behaviors among indigenous Pacific Islanders in the United States : a historical perspective / Iwalani R.N. Else and Naleen N. Andrade -- Suicide in Native American communities : a transactional-ecological formulation of the problem / Carmela Alcántara and Joseph P. Gone -- Suicide prevention in U.S. ethnic minority populations / Rheeda L. Walker, Gregory E. Townley, and David Dei Asiamah -- Testing and assessment / John S. Westefeld [and others] -- Ethnic considerations in intervention and treatment with suicidal people / James R. Rogers and Devon E. Whitehead -- Clinical and research training in suicidality in ethnic communities / Sherry Davis Molock, Samantha Matlin, and Henry Prempeh -- Challenges for research on suicide among ethnic minorities / Mark M. Leach and Frederick T.L. Leong. Book Summary: Review: "Drs. Leong and Leach have brought together established experts, in both multicultural counseling and suicidology, to combine cutting edge empirical research from general cultural diversity literature and apply it to suicide assessment, treatment, and prevention theory and practice. Suicide Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups: Theory, Research, and Practice provides a deeper look into how culture can act as an important catalyst in suicidal intentions and behaviors."

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