SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – An organization that provides services to LGBTQ youth found that 45 percent of that population has seriously contemplated suicide in the last year. The concerning statistic was released by the Trevor Project.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s clear from the survey published today by the Trevor Project that Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and Questioning youth need access to mental health services now more than ever. In addition to the 45 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide, 14 percent attempted to take their own life.
“While the numbers are concerning, they’re consistent,” said Rick Oculto, Education Manger of Our Family Coalition
Our Family Coalition is an organization that provides support for LGBTQ youth and their families. Oculto said there is a direct coalition between how LGBTQ people are treated in public and the response of our youth. One example is the Don’t Say Gay bill that became law in Florida.
“Not even being able to talk about your identity in schools is making an environment where these people are feeling rather hopeless,” Oculto said.
Nearly 34,000 people, ranging in age from 13 to 24, took part in the National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health. According to the survey, LGBTQ youth of color, transgender and nonbinary youth considered and attempted suicide at higher rates.
“If you parcel out by race, or you parcel out by location, or you parcel out by any of the other different factors that might affect their lives, then you can see a huge disparity,” Oculto said.
Researchers found that teens and young adults with supportive families, schools, and communities reported lower rates of attempting suicide, but that 60 percent of LGBTQ youth who wanted mental health care in the past year weren’t able to get it. Oculto said the Trevor Project’s findings may be concerning, but he’s encouraged by the help that’s available to LGBTQ youth in California.
“California Department of Education, in fact, has an entire part of their website dedicated solely to LGBTQ resources for both youth, educators and families that need them,” he said.
Although thousands of young people took part in the survey, the Trevor Project emphasized that the organization does not have known counts or registries for LGBTQ youth, and data on the population’s mental health outcomes remains limited.