Health and Wellness

Suicide is preventable. Learn how you can help yourself or others on World Suicide Prevention Day

mother talking to sad daughter
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Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, a global day of awareness around suicide and promoting ways to prevent it.

Suicide remains a major concern, especially within the LGBTQ community. A 2019 study had this stark fact amongst its findings: young LGBTQ people are five times more likely to attempt suicide than straight people.

Related: How to make schools welcoming for LGBTQ students, staff, faculty & administrators

The Trevor Project has found that suicide remains the second leading cause of death among 10 to 24 year olds, with lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth contemplating suicide at nearly three times the rate of straight youth.

Among transgender people, a 2016 study in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine showed that the rate of attempted suicide is anywhere from 32% to 50% across all countries, largely due to stress factors around a lack of acceptance, harassment, and bullying.

Organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) are sharing resources to spread the word about actions that can largely prevent suicide.

According to WHO, more than 700,000 people commit suicide each year.

The CDC shared five actions steps created by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline under the #BeThe1To campaign: being the one to ask, keep someone safe, be there for someone, help someone connect with others, and follow up with someone is often all that is needed to prevent suicide.

LGBTQ community advocates, such as Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) — who is a nominee for LGBTQ Nation‘s Hero Rebuilding America — shared what they’re doing to prevent as many LGBTQ youth and others from committing suicide.

Other lawmakers have also chimed in to recognize the occasion. President Joe Biden issued a proclamation which seeks to “call upon all Americans, communities, organizations, and all levels of government to join me in creating hope through action and committing to preventing suicide across America.”

Biden pointed out that suicide was a top ten cause of death in the United States in 2019, and the second highest for all youth in America, noting the numbers are “even higher among LGBTQ+ and Native American youth.”

Biden explained how he signed a bill into law allocating close to $600 million dedicated to suicide prevention for veterans with mental health care and awareness. He also has proposed to fund mental health programs under the Department of Health and Human Services, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, with an expanded $180 million budget. $20 million in youth suicide prevention funding was included in the American Rescue Plan that passed this year as well.

Biden, like many others today, called for anyone considering suicide or dealing with suicidal ideation to contact someone and know that they can seek help. In addition to the currently available National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (by calling 1-800-273-TALK) and Crisis Text Line (by texting HOME to 741741), in 2022 there will be a national Mental Health Crisis Line that can be reached by contacting 9-8-8.

“By expanding the crisis line and investing in our Nation’s crisis care infrastructure, we have the opportunity to prevent suicides and save lives,” said the President.

In the meantime, there are also many places to reach out to if you or someone you know is suffering from self-harm or suicidal ideation, whether they are LGBTQ youth, outside of the United States, have access to firearms, and more.

If you or someone you know in the United States needs help, know that you’re not alone. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

If you or someone you know needs 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.

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