#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – 45% Of #LGBTQ #Youth Seriously Considered #Suicide In The Past Year, Trevor Project Survey Finds

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BY TORI B. POWELL

Forty-five percent of young #LGBTQ people seriously considered attempting #suicide in 2021, according to a survey published Wednesday by the #LGBTQ #mentalhealth nonprofit the #TrevorProject. It’s the third consecutive year that rates of #suicidalideation have increased among #LGBTQ #youth, the organization said. 

“We must recognize that #LGBTQ young people face stressors simply for being who they are that their peers never have to worry about,” CEO and executive director of the #TrevorProject Amit Paley said in a statement. 

For the nonprofit’s fourth edition of its National Survey on #LGBTQ #Youth #MentalHealth, researchers surveyed nearly 34,000 #LGBTQ people between the ages of 13 and 24 in the U.S. between September 20 and December 31, 2021. With 45% of respondents being #peopleofcolor and 48% being #transgender or nonbinary, the annual survey is “one of the most diverse surveys of #LGBTQ #youth ever conducted,” according to the #TrevorProject. 

Researchers found that 53% of those who seriously considered #suicide in the past year were #transgender and #nonbinary #youth, and that 33% were cisgender young people. Fourteen percent of #LGBTQ #youth attempted #suicide last year, including nearly one in five #transgender and #nonbinary #youth, as well as nearly one in 10 #cisgender #youth. 

#LGBTQ #youthofcolor considered and attempted #suicide at higher rates than their White counterparts, with the highest percentages among #NativeAmerican, #Black and #MiddleEastern or #NorthAfrican persons, according to the survey. By #sexualorientation, #pansexual young #peopleofcolor, #queer and questioning #youth reported higher rates of considered and attempted #suicide. #Transgender #males, #nonbinary or genderqueer and #transgender #females considered and attempted #suicide at the highest rates. 

The #TrevorProject found that respondents between the ages of 13 and 17 were much more likely to consider or attempt #suicide than those who were 18 to 24 years old.

The organization notes that #LGBTQ #youth are not “inherently prone to #suicide risk because of their #sexualorientation or gender identity but rather placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society.”

Meanwhile, respondents said recent legislation targeting #transgender people introduced and passed across the nation has impacted their #mentalhealth. Over the past year, a series of states, including FloridaTexasArkansasSouth DakotaOklahomaMississippi and Arizona, have enacted laws restricting #transgender #athletes from competing on sports teams in #schools. 

More than eight in 10 of the #transgender and #nonbinary respondents said they have worried about the limitations. And 91% of #transgender and #nonbinary #youth said that they’ve worried about #transgender people being denied access to bathrooms due to state or local laws. 

Last month, Kansas lawmaker Cheryl Helmer complained publicly about having to share a women’s restroom with a “huge” #transgender colleague who she referred to as a potential threat to #children visiting the statehouse. 

Helmer is also co-sponsoring a bill that would ban #doctors from providing hormones or performing gender transition surgery for those under the age of 18. The bill comes after officials in Texas attempted to impose similar restrictions on access to gender-affirming health care

According to the survey, 93% of #transgender and #nonbinary #youth said they’ve worried about #transgender people being denied access to gender-affirming medical care due to state or local laws. Research scientist Dr. Jonah DeChants of the Trevor Project called the recent legislation “political attacks aimed at #transgender and #nonbinary #youth.” 

“[They] have not only threatened their access to #healthcare, support systems, and affirming spaces at #school, they’ve also negatively impacted their #mentalhealth,” he said regarding the laws. 

More than half of #LGBTQ #youth also noted challenges associated with the #COVID-19 #pandemic as a contributor to negative #mentalhealth, including more than three in five #transgender and #nonbinary #youth, as well as nearly half of #cisgender #youth. 

But even as 73% of respondents reported experiencing symptoms of #anxiety and 58% reported #depression symptoms, access to #mentalhealthservices struggled to meet demand. The survey found that 60% of respondents who wanted #mentalhealthcare were unable to get it. 

Researchers also found that young #LGBTQ people who live in an accepting community reported significantly lower rates of attempting #suicide compared to those who do not. Nearly two in five #LGBTQ #youth reported living in communities that are either somewhat or very unaccepting of #LGBTQ people. 

Respondents said they feel supported by their #parents or #caregivers when they welcome their #LGBTQ friends or partners, talk respectfully with them about their identity, correctly use their name and pronouns, support their gender expression and educate themselves about #LGBTQ people and issues. 

“The fact that very simple things — like support from family and friends, seeing #LGBTQ representation in media, and having your gender expression and pronouns respected — can have such a positive impact on the #mentalhealth of an #LGBTQ young person is inspiring, and it should command more attention in conversations around #suicideprevention and public debates around #LGBTQ inclusion,” Paley said. 

#James Donaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

Order your copy of James Donaldson’s latest book,

Celebrating Your Gift of Life:

From The Verge of Suicide to a Life of Purpose and Joy


If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the #NationalSuicidePreventionHotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more information about #mentalhealthcareresources and support, The #NationalAllianceonMentalIllness (#NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email info@nami.org.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com
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