The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, January 30, 2017

14-Year Old Black Girl Hangs Herself Live On Facebook

Naika Venant

Naika Venant from Miami, Florida was only 14 years old when she methodically planned and carried out her suicide for two hours, and the whole event was live on Facebook. The disturbing true story raises so many questions on so many levels surrounding the untimely death of this beautiful, intelligent young girl.
Help did not come in time

While Venant was streaming her planned death live on Facebook, her foster parents were sleeping in their bedroom. It wasn't until a friend of Venant saw the live event on Facebook that help was called. But the help didn't come in time to save young Venant. When officers did arrive, they tried to resuscitate her but she was pronounced dead at Jackson North Hospital.

Suicide rates for black children increases

The tragic incident fostered the publication of recent statistics showing that suicide rates for black children have doubled, while among white children, the rates have declined. It is the first recorded data in history for which black suicide rates surpass that of other race groups. The question is Why? Research shows that suicide is rare before puberty, but African American children tend to go through puberty at a younger age.

Know the signs

Research also shows that children are more likely to harm themselves after puberty. But since the rate of suicide among black children has increased, black parents everywhere need to learn to recognize these following signs that their child might be in trouble:
  • Talking about death or hurting themselves
  • Struggling with a loss in their lives or in other emotional pain
  • Becoming increasingly anxious, angry or withdrawn
  • Changes in sleep patterns

If you recognize any of these signs in your child, talk to your child and seek help immediately.

The life of young Naika Venant mattered to so many people who loved and knew her. She will be sadly missed!
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