Models walk New York Fashion Week for LGBT youth mental health

Models are set campaign for better LGBT+ mental health at New York Fashion Week.

The show, #YOLO: You Only Live Once, will take place on Saturday to raise money for suicide awareness.

It is being hosted by Supermodels Unlimited Magazine, a beauty industry publication, and the proceeds will go to the suicide prevention organisation for LGBT+ youth, The Trevor Project.

Editor-in-chief Kimberly Clark told the Thomson Reuters Foundation: “As a society, we don’t talk about it. It’s OK to be sad. It’s OK to not be OK. Let’s break the stigma.”

She added that even those in the fashion industry struggled with mental health and the stigma surrounding it, including the late Kate Spade, who took her own life last year.

More than half (51 percent) of trans male teenagers have attempted suicide between 2017 and 2018, according to research published last year.

Researchers at the University of Arizona found that more than four in 10 (42 percent) of non-binary adolescents and 30 percent of trans female teens had attempted suicide.

The show will raise awareness for LGBT+ youth mental health (Pexels)

Overall, more than a quarter (28 percent) of teenagers questioning their gender identity had tried to take their own life.

A separate study, published in December 2018 by University College London, found gay, lesbian and bisexual young people experience higher rates of depressive symptoms —and are four times more likely to self-harm.

Researchers found that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to have symptoms of depression from the age of ten, which then persist into their early twenties.

The study, which surveyed 4,828 people born in the 1990s, concluded that by the age of 18 LGB people are twice as likely to fit the criteria for a clinical diagnosis of depression.

“Our findings suggest that clinicians who encounter young people, whether in primary or secondary care, sexual health services, the emergency department, or as school nurses, should be mindful about sexuality in considering the wider context for depressive symptoms or self-harm,” said co-author of the study Alexandra Pitman, a senior clinical lecturer at UCL’s psychiatry department.

“Clinicians should use language and questions that reflect openness about sexuality, and not assume heterosexuality, and they should be aware that a young person who identifies as not exclusively heterosexual may have struggled with mental health problems from early in development.”