KFF’s Kaiser Health News and Science Friday Examine Rising Suicide Rates among People of Color in Initial Collaboration

Continuing its expansion into audio storytelling, KFF’s Kaiser Health News examines the rising suicide rates among Black, Hispanic and other communities of color in its first collaboration with Science Friday, the award-winning producer of high-quality, trustworthy science news and educational programming.

The storytelling highlights tragic cases like that of 19-year-old Jamal Clay, who killed himself in his family’s garage in May 2020. Rafiah Maxie, Clay’s mom and herself a social worker, recounts her difficulties in getting her son the mental-health care he needed and her efforts since his death to help others affected by violence, suicide and trauma in her community outside Chicago.

Reported by KHN correspondent Aneri Pattani, the package includes Pattani’s digital story, and a radio segment airing today with longtime SciFri guest host John Dankosky and voices of families and experts. In their conversation, Dankosky and Pattani discuss socioeconomic factors linked to suicide risk and the community-level fixes that might reverse its rise among people of color in the U.S.

KHN’s initial collaboration with Science Friday builds on a strong tradition of audio journalism — including KHN’s longtime partnership with NPR and dozens of its member stations to report on health and health policy issues from across the country, and the crowdsourced investigative series with NPR and CBS, “Bill of the Month.”

KHN’s family of podcasts includes What the Health?, An Arm and a Leg and Where It Hurts, a co-production with St. Louis Public Radio. In other recent audio collaborations, KHN has partnered with This American Life and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Read the story and listen to radio segment.

About KFF and KHN

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

About Science Friday

The Science Friday Initiative, a nonprofit, is dedicated to increasing the public’s access to science and scientific information. WNYC Studios distributes the radio show, which airs on over 400 public radio stations across the U.S. The initiative produces a sweeping array of educational and entertaining science experiences including videos, podcasts and live events that serve hundreds of thousands of lifelong learners every year.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.