Actress Erika Alexander speaks on suicide prevention at forum in Detroit

Suicide prevention forum held in Detroit
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jun 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-09 20:42:40-04

After two high profile celebrities committed suicide this week, many are asking, "were there signs?"

On Saturday, Project Rainbow held a suicide forum to raise awareness of mental health and suicide. 

According to a release, in Michigan, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 34. The Stop Suicide forum is one of many citywide QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) trainings as part of Project Rainbow's initiative to create a suicide free community.

The keynote speaker for the event was actress Erika Alexander, who starred as the character Maxine in the hit 90s television show "Living Single" along side Queen Latifah. 

"It's on everyone's mind but for a very long time, in the black community, it's been a crisis," Alexander said. 

Both Alexander's mother and sister battled depression and attempted suicide, she said. 

"From those experiences in dealing with a family member who deals with depression, I thought I had something to say," Alexander said. 

Collette Ramsey of the Detroit Association of Black Organizations who planned this event said that after the deaths of Fashion Designer Kate Spade and Journalist Anthony Bourdain, it is a harsh reminder that money and fame aren't the cure for depression. 

"I thought that they had everything," Ramsey said. " I used to think money solves the issues. So why would they? So it's those questions where I say guess what, if you thought they had everything and they still had problems then guess what, it's OK if you have problems."

One of the sponsors of the event is the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority. 

The organization also plans to host free suicide prevention events throughout the summer. 

For more information, visit their website at