Almost half of young LGBTQ+ people considered attempting suicide in past year, alarming survey finds
Two in five young LGBTQ+ people have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, according to shocking figures from The Trevor Project.
The LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organisation has released its 2023 US National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People, in which more than 28,000 LGBTQ+ youth aged between 13 and 24 were surveyed.
It’s the fifth consecutive year The Trevor Project has conducted the survey.
Results show 41 per cent of respondents seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. Broken down, this translated to half of transgender and non-binary and nearly three in 10 cis gender respondents.
It’s a slight decrease on last year’s results, which showed 45 per cent of respondents seriously considered attempting suicide.
Rates of both considering attempting suicide and attempting suicide were also higher among 13 to 17-year-olds than those aged 18 to 24.
You may like to watch
More than two thirds of LGBTQ+ youth also reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety, while just over half reported experiencing symptoms of depression.
Nearly a third of respondents related their poor mental health was “most of the time or always” due to the swath of anti-LGBTQ+ policies and legislation in the US, while two thirds said bans around the discussion of LGBTQ+ people at schools made their mental health “a lot worse”.
The Trevor Project’s vice president of research, Dr Ronita Nath, said the results added to the “growing body of literature detailing the harmful mental health impacts of anti-LGBTQ victimisation on young people”, as well as how support and acceptance can be potentially life-saving.
“As the existence of LGBTQ young people continues to be unfairly put up for debate, it’s critical to consistently underscore that these challenges are not inherent to LGBTQ identity, but rather stem from stigma, discrimination, and violence.”
Citing the high rates of transgender and non-binary youth that considered attempting suicide, the organisation’s advocacy and government vice president, Kasey Suffredini, labelled it “a public health crisis”.
“And it’s preventable,” he said.
“Our government must work from the top down to curb risk factors like violence and discrimination and increase access to essential health care, safe schools and support systems.
“Yet far too many lawmakers at the state level are working overtime to push a dangerous political agenda that will jeopardise young lives.”
Suffredini added that the organisation understood that “some of these issues can seem complicated for people who’ve never met a transgender person, but the impact of victimisation on our young people is clear and dire”.
For the first time, The Trevor Project’s survey respondents were asked to describe what a world would look like where all LGBTQ+ people were accepted.
Common themes included: people being able to be who they want to be, having basic human rights, others minding their own business, the availability of gender neutral bathrooms, and not having to worry about coming out.
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.
MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.