In Sacramento County, there is a new project aimed at addressing the mental health needs and preventing suicide for African Americans. The people behind the African American Suicide Prevention Project have been developing ways to extend mental health treatment to African Americans in Sacramento in ways that are culturally appropriate.
Through surveys and focus groups, the project organizers are starting conversations about what suicide looks like among Sacramento’s African American communities. Doretha Williams-Flournoy, executive director of African American Suicide Prevention Project and senior pastor at A Church for All, said this work is helping break down barriers in having difficult conversations about suicide.
The information they collect will also help them build culturally relevant mental health care, like training more community members in mental health first aid. Williams-Flournoy spoke with Insight about the work the project is doing today and its future.