Study: Black kids have suicide rate two-times higher than white kids

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - For years Trey Lee has struggled with depression.

When he was just 13 years old, he attempted suicide.

"I just noticed my arm bleeding. I noticed I had a knife in my hand, and I didn't know what in the world I was doing," Lee said.

His battle is a reality for far too many children, especially black children.

A recent study shows suicide rates for black children ages 5 to 12 are two times higher than white kids of the same age.

Research reveals that while irritability in the average white teenager is often labeled as depression, it's more likely seen as disruptive in black or Latino children--which doctors said can lead to feelings of hopelessness.

Suicide was the second leading cause of death for children ages 10 to 19 in Tennessee in 2016.

Kristin Landers with Youth Villages in Memphis spoke with Jerica Phillips about the trauma that often leads to signs and symptoms of suicidal thoughts.

"Younger children, you may see things like increased anger, increased anxiety, sometimes it's not always traditional depression or pulling away or isolation," Landers said.

In an effort to combat some of the challenges that many youth face in regards to access to health care and transportation, Youth Villages has several programs where they got into the community--even providing some in-home services.

Now 16, Lee meets with a support group focused on breaking the silence about suicide in the black community.

"Ninety-nine percent of me wanted to just say, 'end it all,' but that one percent said 'no, you can handle this,'" Lee said.

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