Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Mental Health Within R&B and Hip-Hop Music

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Janelle is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Janelle and her fellow scholars here.

Recent media conversations surrounding mental health have increased after R&B singer Kehlani publically (and bravely) shared her struggles following a recent suicide attempt. Trouble ensued after Kehlani uploaded a photo of herself in a hospital bed shortly after being admitted. Since then many people, both celebrities and fans alike, have criticized and horrifically taunted Kehlani, claiming that the attempt to end her life was fabricated and was only done in efforts to gain attention.

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Kehlani

First, we must recognize that invalidating a survivor’s lived experience is both despicable and cruel. There is no place for it. Moreover, we as a culture must remember that the famous people we place on pedestals are just that— people— who are prone to experience the same kinds of hurt and pain that you and I encounter every day. Sometimes, life just happens. And in those moments it does not matter who you are, where you are from, or how many followers you have, because life can and will eventually hurt.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: 3 Ways Facebook is Working to Prevent Suicide

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Janelle is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Janelle and her fellow scholars here.

Within the past few years, we have seen a number of people post messages or pictures to their Facebook page within hours of ending their life.  Since then, Facebook has been proactive in taking steps towards preventing suicide by providing information to persons currently experiencing suicidal ideation, and alerting others to potential warning signs and tips for helping someone who might be suicidal. Check out some of Facebook’s specific steps below.

1. Both users who might be suicidal and those who are concerned about them can get help. Facebook implemented its first plans to prevent suicide in 2011, but efforts were both expanded and updated in February 2015 when Facebook joined forces with various mental health organizations (i.e. Now Matters Now, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, etc.) by creating more user-friendly resources.

Users now have the option to flag content on their timeline as problematic, and from there are prompted to select from a list of options including getting help professional or having Facebook review the post and contact the person of concern directly. You can read more about the specific updates here.

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Examining the Links Between Suicide and Social Media among Young Black Men

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Janelle is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Janelle and her fellow scholars here.

*Trigger warning: This post discusses suicide and contains content that may be triggering to some people.*

Last month, we lost another young black man to suicide. His name is MarShawn McCarrel and he was a 23-year-old leader within the Black Lives Matter Movement. I did not know MarShawn, but his story touched me – not only because the world lost a promising and faithful leader, but also because MarShawn posted a concerning message to his Facebook page shortly before ending his life:

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Meet Janelle Goodwill

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Janelle is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Janelle and her fellow scholars here.

Hello Everyone! My name is Janelle Goodwill and I am a first-year doctoral student in the Joint Social Work and Psychology program at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. I am deeply committed to studying issues related to black men’s mental health, with a special interest in depression and suicidality.

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Poster presentation at the American Men’s Studies Association conference at the University of Washington-Tacoma in March 2014

I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Michigan State University, along with completing the MSW program at the University of Michigan in 2015.

Throughout my time as an Emerging Scholar Fellow I plan to conduct a scoping review of the literature on suicide in young black men – with additional efforts to uncover and unpack this taboo subject within a traditionally underserved and overlooked group. In doing so I will examine a myriad of databases to capture all pertinent articles and studies that have been published since 1980.

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