Survey of LGBTQ Youth Has Big Suicide Finding

45% of them seriously considered it in 2021, Trevor Project says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2022 2:34 PM CDT
Survey: 45% of LGBTQ Youth Considered Suicide Last Year
"Nearly 2 in 5 LGBTQ youth reported living in a community that is somewhat or very unaccepting of LGBTQ people," the Trevor Project said.   (Getty Images/Wacharaphong)

(Newser) – A shocking proportion of young LGBTQ people seriously considered suicide last year, according to a new survey from the Trevor Project. The mental health nonprofit says rates of suicidal ideation have risen for the third year in a row and 45% of LGBTQ youth considered suicide in 2021. The figure among those 13 to 17 was 50%. Some 18% of LGBTQ youth 13 to 17 attempted suicide last year, compared to 8% of those 18 to 24, the group says. The survey found that of those who seriously considered suicide, 53% were transgender or nonbinary. Rates of considering or attempting suicide were significantly higher in minority LGBTQ youth.

The group, which interviewed almost 34,000 young people last year, said LGBTQ youth are not "inherently prone to suicide risk because of their sexual orientation or gender identity but rather placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society," CBS reports. Dr. Jonah DeChants, a research scientist at the Trevor Project, says recent laws in numerous states targeting transgender young people "have not only threatened their access to health care, support systems, and affirming spaces at school, they've also negatively impacted their mental health."

The survey found that 60% of LGBTQ youth wanted mental health care last year but did not receive it. It also found that young people were at lower risk of suicide when they lived in communities they considered accepting and felt accepted by family and friends. "The fact that very simple things—like support from family and friends, seeing LGBTQ representation in media, and having your gender expression and pronouns respected—can have such a positive impact on the mental health of an LGBTQ young person is inspiring" and should be a bigger part of conversations about suicide prevention, says Amit Paley, the group's CEO and executive director. (Read more The Trevor Project stories.)

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