“I was absolutely floored by the suicidal rate of young boys and girls in this country,” said Simpson.
“What we really talk about and what we really concentrate on is violence, crime, relationships with the police department community. We talk about gang situations. There’s no question those things are very crucial and very important but nobody is talking about why these young kids are killing themselves at a very early age,” said Simpson.
While many issues haunt our communities, Dickens says suicide is often not talked about.
“There’s a lot of stigma in our society about depression and about suicidal thoughts. And people have a fear that if they tell someone that they are having these feelings or their symptoms something bad is going to happen,” said Dickens.
Pastor Clifford Barnett of Warner Temple AME Zion Church offered his way of dealing with this taboo subject.
“I think African American boys especially get caught up with everybody has got to be bad and be like the guy on the street but they just want to be like everybody else; loved, encouraged, pointed in the right direction,” said Pastor Barnett.