Today in El Diario: Latina Suicides Grow at Alarming Rate


The Mark of Suicide

A 14 year-old Latina spoke to the City Council on Monday about her fight against depression and suicide attempts, according to the Spanish-language daily.

This girl from the Bronx said that she felt bullied by her classmates, who called her “Mexican,” instead of her name. 

She is not alone, reports the paper. 

In 2009, almost 15 percent of New York’s secondary school-aged Latinas attempted suicide at least one time: That’s one in six Hispanic girls, and twice as many as had reported suicide attempts in 2007, the paper notes.

In Brooklyn, the rate is even higher: 21 percent.

“This is serious business in the Latin community, and we need to face the problem. We need to see why some of the community’s members opt for taking their life,” Julissa Ferraras, a city council member from Queens, told El Diario.

Lily Tom, who’s on the children and families committee, pointed out that the 2009 study only identified 20 actual suicides among Latina girls.

Still, she told the paper, suicide cannot be treated as an isolated incident.

“We have to work against the stigma, the silence and the shame that surrounds psychological problems and mental illness,”she said.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 5, 2011


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