What to Know
- An organization that aims to prevent suicide among young Latinas — the teen population with the highest suicide rate in New York City
- Life is Precious had its ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday for a new center at 2500 Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights
- According to the CDC, one out of seven teenage Latinas attempt suicide, a rate higher than any other teenage ethnic group nationwide
An organization that aims to prevent suicide among young Latinas — the teen population with the highest suicide rate in New York City — is opening its first center in Manhattan.
Life is Precious, Comunilife’s 11-year-old Latina suicide prevention program, had its ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday for a new center at 2500 Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights.
The center will provide full services including individual and group counselling, creative art therapies, academic support, health and wellness activities and family services and is staffed with professionals with an understanding in Latina culture, language and community challenges.
To start, the center will be open Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
“The Latina teenage suicide attempt epidemic continues to escalate nationwide,” said Dr. Rosa M. Gil, Life is Precious founder and President and CEO of Comunilife. “Our new center in Washington Heights will further enable us to strengthen our work and outreach to save lives by providing the teens and their families with the tools they need to overcome suicide ideation and high-risk behavior.”
Though the newly unveiled center is the first in Manhattan, it is actually the fourth Life is Precious center in the city. The organization already has service centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.
The center’s model serves to prevent suicide among young Latinas — the demographic with the highest suicide rate in New York City.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of seven teenage Latinas attempt suicide, a rate higher than any other teenage ethnic group nationwide.
In New York, according to CDC statistics, suicide is the second cause of death for young Latinas.
Additionally, the 2018 Youth High Risk Behavior Report from the CDC says that 40 percent of Latina teens in Manhattan feel sad or helpless. Meanwhile, 19 percent of teen Latinas in Manhattan seriously considered suicide, with 10 percent if teen Latinas in Manhattan attempting suicide.
“The Latina adolescent suicide crisis that is impacting New York and the entire nation, calls for bold, innovative and effective initiatives and resources to save lives,” Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, who serves District 10 (Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill), said in a statement.