September Suicide Awareness: What You Need to Know About LGBTQ Youth and Suicide

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Kira Warne (They/She), Staff Writer

Suicide rates in the LGBTQ community are a major problem. This isn’t news. But why are the rates so devastatingly high in this specific group? 75 percent of LGBTQ teens have experienced symptoms of anxiety in the past year, and 61 percent have experienced symptoms of depression. To put that into perspective, in an average class size of 20 students, 15 of those would have symptoms of anxiety. This is a massive percent to deal with, and it’s very clear why.

LGBTQ youth have a history of being targeted for harassment not only by peers, but by parents and family members. Out of all LGBTQ students surveyed, 34 percent have been bullied on school property. 28 percent have been bullied online, just for being part of the community. With this, it’s no surprise that LGBTQ youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers. Some people will take any chance to harass LGBTQ youth in a brazen attempt to “fix them”. News flash, we can not be “fixed”, this is who we are.

So what can people do to help? The restated answer is to be supportive and welcoming. Having social support and affirming spaces for LGBTQ youth can lower the likelihood of these thoughts by 40%. It’s not much, but it’s a step in the right direction. Even doing your best to support and accept those in the community can help them immensely.

Sources: NewPort Academy, Trevor Project