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Your Healthy Family: Report shows alarming numbers for black youth suicide

Posted at 11:30 AM, Feb 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-23 13:05:28-05

IMMOKALEE, Fla. — A report is pointing out some alarming numbers in black youth suicides.

Sache Caceres, an outpatient clinician at the David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health in Immokalee, said the 2019 report from the Florida Behavioral Health Association ranks Florida 43rd in the nation for access to mental healthcare.

"At the same time, black youth doubled the numbers of suicides from their white counterparts," she said. "In the last 30 years, there's been an increase by 80% in black youth suicide completion, with virtually no changes with the white community in that same category. So it is it is something that really begs our attention."

Caceres said she treats adults and kids at the David Lawrence Centers.

“I could see up to 10 clients in a day; a pretty diverse group of clients, between genders and gender identities, and also races. I see people in both English and Spanish," she said. "I provide therapy services; individual, sometimes families, and I also provide group therapy.”

She said one thing she consistently hears from the young people she treats, is about a lack of representation.

"How their own race impacts them in their ability to function within school because they don't see their likeness in the staff, or the supports around them. Youth are not feeling seen and not feeling understood. And we start feeling like 'the others,' and not opening up to, 'Well, is the other party willing to have a conversation with me?' And we kind of close ourselves off from that," Caceres said.

She said that's why it's so important for children to see people who look like them in their day-to-day lives.

"It definitely impacts mental health as a whole," she said.