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Kid Cudi Starts the Conversation Among the Black Community

Earlier this month Cleveland rapper, Kid Cudi, took to his social media pages to share his ongoing battle with depression and suicidal thoughts. He let the world know that he was checking into treatment in order to try and find some peace within himself.

“It’s been difficult for me to find the words to what I’m about to share with you because I feel ashamed. Ashamed to be a leader and hero to so many while admitting I’ve been living a lie. It took me a while to get to this place of commitment, but it is something I have to do for myself, my family, my best friend/daughter and all of you, my fans,” said Cudi.

In general, members of the black community are much less likely to acknowledge that they have a psychological problem. Mental health and suicide are simply not topics that are discussed openly due to the stigma and fear of being labeled as “crazy” or “weak.” According to the Center for Disease Control, more than five percent of African Americans die by suicide each year and in the past year 16 percent were diagnosed with a mental illness. Mental illness does not discriminate. It affects one in five Americans each year no matter their race, income level, ethnicity, religion, or level of fame.

Through songs like Day ‘n’ Night, Pursuit of Happiness, and Soundtrack to My Life, Cudi gives listeners a glimpse into the mind of someone dealing with depression and anxiety. Whether it was his intention, his openness and courage to share his experience with mental illness with the world has started a conversation among the black community, especially among men.

The hashtag #YouGoodMan has started trending on Twitter in support of black men’s mental health. It has sparked thousands of notes of support and affirmation that it is okay to not be okay. We need to keep this conversation going and remove the stigma of mental illness for good!


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Jill Hamilton, Project Coordinator, The Kim Foundation

Jill Hamilton has been the Project Coordinator at The Kim Foundation since 2014. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from The University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. Since working at the foundation, she has become an active member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, Nebraska LOSS Advisory Committee, The Omaha Metro Hoarding Taskforce, The Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, Nebraska State Conference Planning Committee, is Chair of the Nebraska LOSS Teams Conference Planning Committee, and serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the Metro Area LOSS Team.