Health and Wellness

Nearly half of LGBTQ youth considered suicide in the last year. That was before the pandemic.

A sad teen getting bullied
Photo: Shutterstock

About 40% of LGBTQ youth have contemplated suicide in the last year, according to a national survey by the Trevor Project. The information was gathered between December 2, 2019 and March 31, 2020, which means most respondents answered before they were faced with the even tougher circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2020 gathered its data from over 40,000 respondents – teens and young adults between the ages of 13 and 24 who identify as gay or lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or non-binary. This year’s finding of 40% is up slightly from 39% in the same demographic last year.

Related: Nonbinary People’s Day is trending & these tweets will show you why

Other key points that the Trevor Project determined is that 48% of LGBTQ youth “reported engaging in self-harm” in the year before their response. The number is north of 60% among trans and non-binary youth.

Eighty-six percent of youth also said that the current political climate has impacted their well-being negatively. Thirty-three percent reported that they have been “physically threatened or harmed due to their LGBTQ identity” in their lifetime.

The results of the survey are not all discouraging, however. It also determined that trans and non-binary youth who reported “having pronouns respected by all or most people in their lives” were less likely to attempt suicide than their counterparts who weren’t affirmed by people in their lives.

Eighty-four percent of respondents also sought counseling from a mental health professional, although 48% reported they were unable to obtain it in the 12 months prior.

This data was compiled based on information reported prior to the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., which means resources are more scarce than before, and many LGBTQ youth who typically receive help or support in-person at places such as school, community centers, or safe spaces, may have their well-being in even more risk than reported.

This is the second year the Trevor Project conducted this study, which aims to provide “critical insights around LGBTQ youth mental health disparities, discrimination, housing instability, barriers to affirming health care, subjection to conversion therapy, and suicide.”

The Trevor Project reports that suicide is the second-leading cause of death of LGBTQ youth between the ages of 10 and 24. Similarly, two studies published in February analyzed information on the deaths of lesbian, gay & bisexual youth and also found suicide to be the second-leading cause of death.

“Our hope is that by publicly sharing our resources and our support for them, LGBTQ youth will hear us loud and clear: that they are beautiful the way they are, that their lives are valuable, and that they are never alone,” Trevor Project CEO & Executive Director Amit Paley of the survey. “If you are an LGBTQ young person, please know that The Trevor Project is here to support you 24/7.”

Last November, the Trevor Project was the recipient of a $6 million grant from the PwC Charitable Foundation, which will allow for the development of a new technology platform that offers direct support to LGBTQ youth and support it over the next 4 years. PwC also pledged $2 million in pro bono services to the non-profit.

In December, the FCC paved the way for a new 3-number suicide hotline, 988, which appears slated for launch in 2022 and will replace the current 10-digit National Suicide Prevention hotline, 800-273-8255 (TALK).

If you or someone you know needs help or someone to talk to, know that the Trevor Project is here 24/7, and can be reached by phone at 1-866-488-7386 or text and chat at www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now.

Hallmark Channel is in “active negotiations” over a possible LGBTQ holiday film

Previous article

Parents can declare their newborns non-binary on their birth certificates in Maine now

Next article