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12% of LGBTQ youth attempted suicide last year, nationwide survey says

Amit Paley speaks on Trevor Project research
Amit Paley speaks on Trevor Project research about LGBT youth and suicide prevention 04:32

A nationwide survey by the Trevor Project, the nation's leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth, found that more than one in 10 young people in the United States who identify as LGBTQ attempted suicide in 2023. 

The survey, which focuses on the mental health of LGBTQ young people, included responses from 18,000 people aged 13 to 24, according to a news release announcing the findings

More than a third of LGBTQ young people, or 39%, seriously considered suicide in the past year, the survey found. That number was even higher for transgender and nonbinary youth at 46%. Of all LGBTQ youth, 12% attempted suicide in the past year. 

Despite these risks, half of LGBTQ youth who wanted mental health care could not get it, the survey found. 

The suicide risks were strongly associated with "anti-LGBTQ+ victimization" including recent politics and bullying related to their sexual or gender identity. Those who said they experienced bullying reported "significantly higher rates of attempting suicide in the past year," the Trevor Project said, and 90% of those surveyed said "their well-being was negatively impacted due to recent politics." 

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"Once again, this year's survey shows that considering or attempting suicide is not uncommon among LGBTQ+ young people. However, many of the contributing risk factors for suicide are preventable, and often rooted in victimizing behaviors of others," said Dr. Ronita Nath, the Vice President of Research at the Trevor Project, in the news release. "The results of this survey clearly identify a need for adults and allies to create more affirming environments for LGBTQ+ young people, and better support them in being their true selves." 

The survey included information about how to support LGBTQ youth in what the Trevor Project called an attempt to highlight the association between "lower odds of suicide risk and access to LGBTQ+-affirming spaces and experiences." The survey found that LGBTQ people who reported living in accepting environments "attempted suicide at less than half the rate" of those who lived in unaccepting communities, and that transgender and nonbinary people who had their preferred pronouns used and had access to gender-affirming clothing and school bathrooms "had lower rates of attempting suicide compared to those who did not." 

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, you can reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988. You can also chat with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline here.

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