Suicide Prevention Week

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 5-11, 2010. Because of harassment and prejudice, lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, and one quarter of young transgender people report having attempted suicide. The chances of a suicide attempt are 8 times more likely for LGBTQ youth who come from a family who rejects them.

Watch the new "Give a Damn" PSA featuring Judith Light, Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Lily Tomlin, and Parenthood's Mae Whitman educating people on suicide among LGBT youth:

The Trevor Project focuses on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Their Y-CARE project is a guide for how you can help someone who is suicidal.

More Facts About Suicide and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth:
  • In the United States, more than 34,000 people die by suicide each year (2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC).
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds, accounting for over 12% of deaths in this age group; only accidents and homicide occur more frequently (2006 National Adolescent Health Information).
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses (2008 CDC).
  • For every completed suicide by a young person, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made (2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey).
  • Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Massachusetts 2007 Youth Risk Survey).
  • More than 1/3 of LGB youth report having made a suicide attempt (D'Augelli AR - Clinical Child Psychiatry and Psychology 2002)
  • Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt (Grossman AH, D'Augelli AR - Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior 2007)
  • Questioning youth who are less certain of their sexual orientation report even higher levels of substance abuse and depressed thoughts than their heterosexual or openly LGBT-identified peers (Poteat VP, Aragon SR, et al – Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2009)
  • LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are more than 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide than LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection (Ryan C, Huebner D, et al - Peds 2009;123(1):346-352)
  • It is estimated that between 20 and 40 percent of all homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (2006 National Gay & Lesbian Task Force: An Epidemic of Homelessness). 62% of homeless LGB youth will attempt suicide at least once—more than two times as many as their heterosexual peers (Van Leeuwen JMm et al – Child Welfare 2005)
Being a teenager is hard enough, but being an LGBT teenager with an unsupportive family can feel overwhelming. If you are a youth who is feeling alone, confused or in crisis, please call The Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR for immediate help. You are not alone!


Anonymous said...

360 North will be broadcasting statewide (in Alaska) a workshop held in Juneau with Dr. Bob Baugher on Suicide Intervention and Coping with Suicide Loss.

It will be on Sept. 12 at 8:00 pm and Sept. 13 at 11:00 am. Please consult your local 360 North station to view this informative workshop!

E. Ross said...

Thanks for the workshop info. Will he include suicide intervention and resources for LGBT people?

The state has also set up a new suicide prevention website at

Anonymous said...

This workshop was not specific toward any segment of society (race, sexual orientation, etc.), but was about suicide intervention in general. The LGBT community obviously has stressors and issues that can be different from other communities, but suicide intervention information in this workshop was useful no matter the situation. The second component was about how to help the survivors of suicide, again non-specific to any segment of society.

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