When a child is suicidal, involving parents can be challenging, especially in ethnic communities. Sherry Davis Molock, PhD, a clinical psychologist and researcher who focuses on suicide among diverse populations, explains why.
“Participating in a school setting for families in communities of color can be a challenge,” notes Molock. “Either they can’t get off work, or they need transportation or child care. Some distrust the school system; they’ve felt the system has been racist or oppressive. They perceive a program as being punitive, and that puts it at a disadvantage. They may see it as a way of labeling their child as being deviant or bad. Parents sometimes feel, ‘I won’t trust you with my child’s education, so why would I trust you with their mental health?’”