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Nearly 2 out of 5 young LGBTQ+ people considered suicide in last year, survey finds

Political rhetoric is a major cause of distress among young LGBTQ+ people, group says.
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Posted at 9:34 AM, May 02, 2024

A new survey from the Trevor Project of young LGBTQ+ people found that 39% of those surveyed said they considered attempting suicide in the past year, while 12% said they tried to take their own life.

The survey by the suicide prevention organization also found young Americans who consider themselves transgender or nonbinary were more likely to contemplate attempting suicide. The group said 46% of transgender and nonbinary young people considered taking their life.

Part of the issue, the Trevor Project noted, was a lack of access to mental health services.

The survey indicated that 50% of young LGBTQ+ people who sought mental health care were unable to access it. Many cited being afraid to talk to someone, while others cited cost or being unable to get parents' permission.

Politics have also impacted the well-being of young LGBTQ+ youth, according to the Trevor Project. Recent politics negatively impacted the mental health of 90% of those surveyed. Slightly over half — 54% — said their school was gender-affirming. Those who said they attended schools that were gender-affirming were less likely to report that they've attempted suicide.

The poll found that 13% of transgender and non-binary people surveyed took gender-affirming hormones, while 2% said they used puberty blockers. Of those using gender-affirming hormones, 61% expressed concern about losing access to care.

Those who said they lived in welcoming communities were half as likely to report attempting suicide than those who live in unwelcoming communities, the Trevor Project's survey found.

Trevor Project leaders say political rhetoric is a major cause of distress among young LGBTQ+ people.

“Much of our efforts to address the public health crisis of suicide among LGBTQ+ young people are made that much harder by the ongoing wave of anti-LGBTQ+ policies pushed by extremist lawmakers across the country,” said Janson Wu, senior director of state advocacy and government affairs at the Trevor Project. “Ninety percent of LGBTQ+ young people said that recent politics negatively impacted their well-being, and nearly half of transgender and nonbinary youth reported they had considered moving to a different state due to the anti-LGBTQ+ politics occurring in their home state. With such striking numbers and families literally wanting to uproot their homes to seek safety, lawmakers must seriously reconsider the real and damaging impact that their anti-LGBTQ+ policies and rhetoric create. No ‘political victory’ should be worth risking the lives of young people.”

The survey included responses from 18,663 LGBTQ+ young people ages 13 to 24 in the U.S.

If you need to talk to someone, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or text "HOME" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.