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Study Reveals One In Four LGBTQ Teens Attempt Suicide

A new study suggests that one quarter of gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning teens have attempted suicide…
 
A new study suggests that one in four gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers are likely to attempt suicide.
 
In a research letter published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the findings show that the LGBTQ youth is at a much higher risk of suicide than heterosexual teens. The letter used data from the 2015 National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey, which surveyed 16000 U.S. teens, of which 89 percent identified as heterosexual, two percent as homosexual, six percent as bisexual and just over three percent as unsure of their sexual orientation.
 
The study shows that 40 percent of LGBTQ teens considered suicide, 35 percent had planned suicide, while 25 percent had attempted suicide, as opposed to heterosexual teens, of which 15 percent had considered suicide, 12 percent had planned suicide, and six percent had attempted suicide.
 
The study also shows that bisexual teens are the most at-risk, with a staggering 46 percent having considered suicide in the past year, alone.
 
A UK study conducted last year also found that young gay and bisexual men are six times more likely to attempt suicide or self-harm in comparison to men in the same age group.
 
John Ayers, a researcher at San Diego State University, has stated “We must recognise LGBTQ teen suicide is a national public health crisis and bring extraordinary resources to bear to address the crisis.”
 
The 2015 study was not conducted with the intention to determine whether sexual orientation had an influence on suicide risk. The U.S. researchers also did not include information regarding gender identity or transgender youth, which also may have increased suicide risk greatly.
 
Anna Mueller, a sociologist from the University of Chicago, has stated that the fear of a negative reaction from family and friends can have a major impact on the mental health of LGBTQ teens.
 
“Only when we provide them with a climate that does that will we begin to see suicidality drop off in this vulnerable population,” said Mueller.
 
Kimberly McManama, a psychiatry researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, encourages parents to speak with their children about sexual and gender identity at an early age. McManama said that an accepting and open dialogue between parents and their children may lower stress among LGBTQ youth.
 

1 COMMENT
  • Nathan Romagnoli December 22, 2017

    This is an incredibly necessary topic to be discussed among our community. More importantly, what resources and education are available locally for those at risk.

    As a funeral director serving a sizeable sum of Toronto’s LGBTQ community, I see the truth and reality of these numbers and the damage on the periphery that suicide ripples to.

    Thanks for posting a worthy topic, especially at this time of year where suicide is at its highest of any months through the year.

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