The overwhelming number of young men in their twenties charged with murder and homicide seems to be puzzling for many of us. The question of why are so many men in their twenties committing murder remains unanswered? Just a few days ago on Friday, October 4th, a 25 year old man by the name of James Cubille was found dead in a Bronx subway station on Grand Concourse B/D line, with gun shot wound to his torso. The suspect in question is a 29 year old man.
The next day around 2 AM, 4 homeless men were found dead in Chinatown, New York City after being murdered with a metal rod, by 24 year old suspect Randy Rodriguez Santos. When looking at the characteristics of men in their twenties who commit murder, mental illness tends to be an underlying and common trait for these men. Most parents have seen the signs of violence in their children before they committed violent acts, but most parents did not seek out help for their kids. Parenting a child with risky behaviors and/or with mental illness is a huge responsibility and oftentimes overwhelming for many parents. Many parents lack the support and help from the community to parent children with mental illness.
Is there a role we play as parents, community members, educators, community leaders, and government ? The answer is yes. We have a social responsibility and obligation to deal with violence in our communities. As parents, we have a responsibility to seek help for our children. Parents and guardians should not ignore signs of violence and mental illness in their child/ren no matter their age, get the help you need by speaking to school counselor, a local community center, your local civic leader. Educators, we have a responsibility to refer children to counseling and referral services and provide support to parents who are in need. Government, we have a responsibility to create policies and legislation that will combat and stop violence in our communities such as mandating supportive and mentoring programs in our public schools, intensive mentoring programs that target males in their twenties with violent behavior. When young adults engage in pro social activities such as mentoring, boys and girls club, sports, risky behavior and violent behavior reduces.
Community members, we have a social responsibility to keep our communities safe, by alerting local police and lending a helping hand to one another when in need. You can help by simply sharing resources and information with one another that will be helpful. Church based organizations is the most influential in increasing positive behavior in male youth of color. Church institutions helps reduce crime and violent behavior through spiritual activities and spiritual services.
The bottom line is, we all have a role to play in combating violence and helping males in their twenties. We can not ignore the issue, ignoring does not make it go away. We can not simply respond but we have to "prevent" violence in our neighborhoods and communities.
If you know someone who is dealing with mental illness and they have not received treatment, please get them help. Below are some local resources in the Bronx area. Speak to a school counselor, speak to a program director at a local community center, speak to your local legislator for resources and help.
Local Mental Health Resources
Bronx Family Mental Health Clinic: bronxfamilyclinic.org/services/
NYC Thrive Mental Health Resources:https://www.bronxnet.org/your-bronx/articles/mental-health-resources/
Mental Health Resources in New York State
Bronx Psychiatric Center
Bronx Directory of Youth Services
IRAISE Girls & Boys International Corporation Mentoring Program
IRAISE Girls & Boys International Corporation School Counseling Program