8.31.2012

From Don Cornelius to Chris Lighty: In the Case of Suicide, Who Is to Blame?

(Hip hop mogul Chris Lighty was recently found dead)

by Ebony S. Muhammad

In light of the recent and tragic death of Hip Hop Mogul Chris Lighty (age 44), who was reportedly found in his backyard with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on August 30th as well as Don Cornelius earlier this year, it is becoming clear that suicide among the Black community is on the increase.

Who is to blame in the case of a suicide?

While many media outlets are honing in on an argument that took place between Lighty and his ex-wife shortly before he was found, there is usually always more than one factor or incident that provokes suicide. While it is very possible an isolated trigger could make or break a person’s decision to act on suicidal thoughts, it goes much deeper than one could imagine.

Our daily stressors such as living environments, financial conditions, family issues, intimate relationships and work related pressures can be contributing factors along with insufficient support systems and positive outlets. As a Certified Thanatologist, one who studies death and dying and how we cope with loss, it is my personal and professional opinion that the last two factors are the most critical, because if these two are taken care of the above stressors can be quite manageable. These two dynamics could quite frankly prevent a suicide or stress build up on many levels.

Some choose suicide as a route, because they have all together lost hope and/or believe they have run out of other options. However, your support system – whether it’s a girlfriend taking you out for a day at the salon and spa and to lend a non-judgmental ear; or a positive outlet such as a game of street ball to blow off steam – can make what once appeared as a “no way out” situation to an “all I needed was a moment to breath and cool off”. [READ MORE]

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