National Latino Behavioral Health Association and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Partner to Advance Latino Suicide Prevention Efforts

22 Jul 2020 — 3 min read

BY AFSP

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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Announces Diversity as Priority Focus Area for Research Funding

NEW YORK [JULY 23, 2020] — Historically, compared to other ethnic or racial groups, Hispanics have been at decreased risk for suicide ideation, attempts, and death in the U.S. However, suicide rates among U.S. Hispanics have steadily risen since 2000. Despite the population size, suicide among Hispanics remains relatively understudied and little is known about how to prevent suicide in this population. This is one of the many reasons the National Latino Behavioral Health Association and the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention have formally partnered to advance Latino mental health and suicide prevention efforts to help inform, educate, and bring awareness to this public health crisis.

"NLBHA is proud to partner with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to bring the expertise and experience of our national organizations to work collaboratively on the prevention of suicide in our nation and in the Latino community. Together we can leverage our mutual efforts to save lives and prevent the loss of human life," said Fredrick Sandoval, MPA, NLBHA Executive Director. NLBHA’s vision is to reduce the great disparities that exist in the areas of funding, access, and quality of care for Latino consumers and families needing mental health and substance abuse services and supports and NLBHA’s mission is to influence national behavioral health policy, eliminate disparities in funding and access to services, and improve the quality of services and treatment outcomes for Latino populations. Suicide prevention is one of NLBHA’s 2019-2024 Policy Priorities. 

“This partnership will help address the need for resources and research to dramatically improve access to mental health care and to prevent suicide in diverse communities. As part of our organization’s three-year strategy, AFSP wants to ensure that our mental health and suicide prevention programs, locally and nationally, serve and support the unique needs of underrepresented groups, like those in the Latino community,” said Robert Gebbia, CEO of AFSP. “We believe the only way to accomplish this is to work together with those from the community, that's why we are excited about our new partnership with NLBHA.”

As of 2010, the Hispanic population in the United States (U.S.) reached 50.5 million, making Hispanics the largest ethnic or racial minority group in the country. The U.S. Hispanic population is expected to double by 2060, constituting over 25 percent of the nation's population. Historically, compared to other ethnic or racial groups, Hispanics have been at decreased risk for suicide ideation, attempts, and death in the U.S. However, suicide rates among U.S. Hispanics have steadily risen since 2000.

In 2015, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death among Hispanics of all ages (a rate of 5.84 per 100,000) in the U.S., but the 3rd leading cause of death among Hispanics aged 10-34. Compared to Non-Hispanic Whites, Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans have fewer suicides annually per case of major depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2017 youth risk behavior surveillance survey, 10.5% of Latina adolescents aged 10–24 years in the U.S. attempted suicide in the past year, compared to 7.3% of white female, 5.8% of Latino, and 4.6% white male teens.

THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION:

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, DC, AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

THE NATIONAL LATINO BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION:

The National Latino Behavioral Health Association's vision is to reduce the great disparities that exist in the areas of funding, access, and quality of care for Latino consumers and families needing mental health and substance abuse services and supports. Our mission of NLBHA is to influence national behavioral health policy, eliminate disparities in funding and access to services, and improve the quality of services and treatment outcomes for Latino populations. NLBHA manages the National Hispanic/Latino Addictions and Prevention Technology Centers, operates the Behavioral Health Interpreter and Promotores de Bienestar Training programs. 

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