- Hollywood celebrity Stephen Boss’s suicide shone the spotlight on neglected mental health issues in men belonging to marginalized communities.
- Experts look for ways to promote and sustain mental wellness in such population groups.
Stephen “tWitch” Boss was an American dancer who rose to fame on So You Think You Can Dance and as the DJ for The Ellen DeGeneres Show. His recent death by suicide sparked a conversation about mental health awareness and suicide prevention in colored communities.
Did tWitch Suffer From Mental Illness?
Stephen Boss never made his mental health struggles public. His suicide by gunshot came as a shock to many, especially in light of the strong and inspiring messages he shared in his previous interviews.
Resultantly, Stephen Boss’s mental illness is left largely to speculation. Some people have even linked his death to issues of mental health during holidays (such as seasonal depression, etc.).
Men Of Color And Mental Health
The mental health of men has always been a closeted topic. In communities of color, minority communities, and historically underserved communities, men’s mental health becomes coupled with the pitfalls of financial backwardness, marginalization, and racism.
In fact, research testifies that suicide rates are skyrocketing more in male sections of the population—compared to women, children, and the elderly.
For instance, studies in the US reveal that the adjusted suicide rates for Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous people have plummeted in the years 2019–21.
The major risk factors for mental health issues and suicide are:
- A history of untreated trauma and mental illness
- A history of substance abuse
- Lack of mental health care
- Financial stress
- Social marginalization and isolation (like racism)
- Low self-esteem and self-loathing
- Fatalist life approaches
- Dysfunctional life settings related to parental neglect, unemployment, domestic violence, etc.
- Easy access to firearms, poison, etc.
Disadvantages In Mental Health Support
The death of Stephen “tWitch” Boss highlights the need to seek support and resources for mental well-being, with or without emotional distress.
However, mental health support and suicide prevention tools can be difficult to access at times owing to a number of factors, such as:
- Socio-cultural stigmatization of mental health
- Expensiveness of therapy
- Limited psychological workforce of color
- Lack of research into mental health issues in colored communities
How To Maintain A Better Mental Well-being
Stephen “tWitch” Boss’s death has led many organizations and celebrities to discuss and look at ways in which mental health, especially men’s mental health, in colored communities.
A state-funded, easily available psychiatric infrastructure and mental health awareness comprise the key to better mental and physical wellness in such groups.