Suicide served as the alleged cause of death for Kevin Ward, 44, mayor of Hyattsville, Md., who died on Jan. 25. Authorities discovered his body in an urban area not far from the District.
“It is with great sadness that we report that our beloved Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward passed away yesterday … from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” a post on the official website for Hyattsville said on Wednesday.
While few details have been released confirming the cause or reason behind Ward’s death, the issue of suicide has captured headlines in recent weeks following the reported deaths of Ian Alexander Jr., 26, the son of actress Regina King, Peter Robbins, who served as the voice of “Charlie Brown,” and the sons of both Sinead O’Conner and Michael Madsen.
However, suicide does not discriminate between those who may hold celebrity status and those deemed “ordinary people.” It currently counts as the 10th-leading cause of death in the U.S.
As The Washington Informer surmised in an editorial published Jan. 27, 2022, which addressed the tragic death of Regina King’s son just days after his 26th birthday in January and the growing prevalence of suicide in the Black community, suicide has reached unprecedented heights among Black youth, particularly Black girls.
Worldwide, suicide represents the fourth-leading cause of death for adolescents ages 15-19.
A host of warning signs can be found for those who may be more likely to consider, attempt, or die by suicide, including mental, mood or anxiety disorders, alcohol or other substance use, hopelessness, family history, job or financial loss, and a history of abuse or trauma.
And while there remain treatments for those dealing with suicidal thoughts, including medication or psychotherapy, and while one can recover with the proper treatment, it’s imperative that if you believe you know someone who may be in danger of committing suicide, that you immediately reach out for help on their behalf.
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for assistance at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call them, 24 hours a day, at 800-272-8255.