April 27, 2022
Over the past 10 years, we have continued to hear from our partners about the need for resources and tools that will help them address the most pressing issues that hold far too many young Black men and boys back from living out our vision. From community violence and homicides; police-involved shootings and in-custody deaths; suicides, and child abuse and neglect – all of these forms of violence have a direct and indirect impact on young Black men and boys – lessening their chances to be safe, live healthy lives or see any hope for the future. In response, Cities United has developed a series of strategic resources to equip mayors, city and community leaders, and young leaders – with the tools they need to address these tough challenges, and prevent them from happening in the first place. This is the third strategic resource in the series and it will focus on suicide prevention, providing a roadmap that city leaders can use to address this pressing issue. We are focusing on suicide because it is a growing crisis among Black children and youth, that demands urgent attention from local leaders including mayors, schools, healthcare systems, and community-based organizations. There is a need to spotlight this issue at the local level, deploy effective solutions for identifying young people at risk, and get them the help that they need.In this resource guide, we share a framework for local action – that identifies integral front-line components of a prevention system organized around universal screening and detection, timely referral to evidence-based services, and timely intervention to prevent future suicidal behavior. The framework provides actions steps that key stakeholders can implement to keep young Black men and boys from suicidal behaviors.The recommendations outlined in this resource are based on emerging best practices and effective responses we have identified through research – they are rooted in community transformation and healing.