August 23, 2023
In 2019, the Congressional Black Caucus Emergency Task Force on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health sounded the alarm about concerning suicide trends among Black youth in their report, Ring the Alarm. This present report not only urges us to renew the urgent call to action, but also to critically interrogate the socioecological factors and structures—including institutional racism—that contribute to suicide risk among Black youth and how those factors create significant barriers for researchers and implementors trying to save their lives.This report is comprised of six main sections. The first section provides an overview of data pertaining to Black youth suicide ideation, attempts, and deaths to contextualize the problem, data trends, and how that varies based on intersectional identities. The second section contextualizes risk factors unique to Black youth using the socioecological model. The third section provides an overview of unique protective factors for Black youth, with the fourth section summarizing some existing evidence-informed and best practices for Black youth suicide prevention. The fifth section reviews gaps and impediments to Black youth suicide prevention, followed by the sixth section that provides recommendations developed to advance this work forward.This report serves as a renewal of the CBC task force's original call to action as well as a guide for policymakers, advocates, stakeholders, and federal, state, and local governments to understand the issue of Black youth suicide. The report identifies potential evidence-informed interventions and practice-based evidence to implement and address this enduring crisis, while also engaging in the longer-term work necessary to address upstream, structural factors that contribute to Black youth's suicide risk. Finally, the report also explores barriers researchers and implementors face to develop evidence-based and culturally responsive interventions to save Black youth's lives.