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Survey: Nearly half of LGBTQ youth in Michigan considered suicide

Survey: Nearly half of LGBTQ youth in Michigan considered suicide
Survey: Nearly half of LGBTQ youth in Michigan considered suicide 02:02
The Trevor Project

FERNDALE, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) –  A recent survey reveals almost half of young people in Michigan's LGBTQ community have considered taking their own lives.

The data comes from the Trevor Project, which is calling for increased support and resources.

To Brenden Bell, the care manager at Affirmations, an LGBTQ center in Ferndale, it's not surprising to hear of a staggering statistic: 45% of kids and teens in Michigan's queer community have seriously considered suicide in the past year.

"The LGBTQ+ community, especially the youth, are not feeling safe right now," Bell said. 

The study shows another 15% have attempted suicide.

"Some people come to our center who when they arrive, they feel hopeless," Bell said.

The survey reveals the negative impact that recent politics have had on the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ youth.

"If we're in a vulnerable position where we're not well supported, we don't have a strong identity in ourselves and know who we are. We're going to take those stories, and we're going to believe them," Bell said. "And that's going to have a mental health impact. We're gonna see depression. We're gonna see anxiety, and we're going to see people more likely to want to harm them."

As a whole, youth suicide has trended downward in Michigan, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control.

But the survey points out the significant barriers to mental health care, including lack of access and the cost of treatment.

"It's not bad to ask the question, are you thinking about harming yourself? Um, you're not going to put that idea in someone's mind. It's always better to get them to talk," Bell said. 

Affirmations does so by providing a variety of programs specifically geared toward young people.

"We all desire community, and we all desire safety. And we need not only spaces like affirmations for queer people to feel safe and feel like they can be themselves. But we need that for all of us," Bell said.

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