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Brown School

Black teens were the only racial group to show an increase in reported suicide attempts, according to new research from Washington University.
LA Johnson | NPR

Black teenagers in the U.S. are attempting suicide more often — even as suicide attempts have dropped for teens of other racial groups.

Suicide is the second most common cause of death among American teenagers. 

Suicide attempts for black teenage boys have been climbing since the early 1990s,  and research from Washington University suggests a similar trend for black girls.

According to Washington University's Center for Social Development's latest study, predominantly black residents and low-income communities in the region face barriers in casting their ballots.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

While working at polling stations in the St. Louis region for the 2008 presidential election, Gena Gunn McClendon noticed the voting process varied, largely depending on the neighborhood. She observed hours-long wait times, malfunctioning machines and a number of people turned away because they were not registered to vote. 

“As a black woman, I am accustomed to things being a little imbalanced, but I just assumed that when it comes to voting that democracy was fair across the board, especially at the local level,” McClendon said.

David Patterson Silver Wolf is an associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University. He's also chief research officer at the institution's newly launched Community Academic Partnership on Addiction.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

When David Patterson Silver Wolf refers to the U.S. opioid epidemic as part of a “disease of despair” and “a tough disease to treat,” he’s speaking from experience both professional and personal. He experienced substance-use disorder firsthand after growing up in a troubled home that quickly led him toward drugs and alcohol.

“I was young and I was also suicidal – which, a lot of folks, when we talk about [overdosing], it’s hard to separate out what is an OD and what is just taking of your life,” the Washington University faculty member recalled on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air. “And I was also full of despair. I had no hope, I was a high school dropout … and I couldn’t see a vision forward.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 29, 2010 - The federal health-insurance law could transform care in Missouri in the long run, a public-health expert in Missouri said Wednesday. But Edward E. Lawlor, head of the Institute for Public Health at Washington University and dean of the Brown School of Social Work, cautioned that the outlook for health care in the state looks cloudy in the short term.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 25, 2010 - On the day that St. Louisan Michael Sherraden officially joined the ranks of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, he was on the job at Washington University keeping it all in perspective.

"It is an honor to be selected," he said, quickly adding, "It feels very arbitrary. Thousands of people could be on a list like this. A lot of people have done hard work and interesting and valuable work. But I'm glad to be on the list, and I'm glad that the work will maybe get a little more recognition and maybe people can think about it a little more. It's positive, and I hope that will help move the discussion forward."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 20, 2009 - As President Barack Obama and members of Congress continue debating health-care in forums across the country, groups on both side of the issue in the St. Louis area are pressing for their side to be heard.

Those in favor of health-care changes, including religious leaders, business executives and health officials, made spirited pleas at a news conference at the Family Care Health Center in south St. Louis for passage of a bill that would provide comprehensive insurance coverage for everyone, regardless of pre-existing conditions, at a cost that is affordable.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 19, 2009 - When it comes to health-care rationing, the discussions can be anything but rational.

In the current highly charged atmosphere over changes in health care, "rationing" is one of the hottest buttons around. Yet any debate over how medical resources can be used most wisely inevitably reaches the fact that because demand outstrips supply, patients can't ever get everything they want, so some form of allocation is needed. That's what rationing is all about.