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This is additional information if you are concerned about a youth who fits the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning their sexual identity. (LBGTQ)


Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Massachusetts Youth Risk Survey 2007).


One study found that among youth who had attempted suicide, almost twice as many LGB youth, as compared to their straight peers, said that they had really hoped to die.


Questioning youth who are less certain of their sexual orientation report even higher levels of substance abuse and depressed thoughts than their heterosexual or openly LGBT-identified peers (Poteat VP, Aragon SR, et al – Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2009)


Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt (Grossman AH, D’Augelli AR - Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior 2007)


It is important to note that being LGBT is not a risk factor in and of itself; however, the minority stressors that LGBT individuals encounter – such as discrimination and harassment – are directly associated with suicidal behavior as well as indirectly with risk factors for suicide.


While LGBT youth think about and attempt suicide more often than their straight counterparts, most LGBT youth do not attempt suicide.


LGBT youth have many of the same risk factors as straight youth, but many LGBT have more or more severe risk factors.


The strongest risk factor for suicide death is previous attempts, and LGB youth attempt more frequently than non-LGB youth.


Fergusson et al. (1999) found that LGB youth showed higher rates of major depression, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, and co-occurring psychiatric disorders than their straight peers. These are risk factors for suicide.


More than 1/3 of LGB youth report having made a suicide attempt (D’Augelli AR - Clinical Child Psychiatry and Psychology 2002)


Ryan et al. (2009) found that family acceptance was important for LGB youth, in fact LGB youth who experienced severe family rejection were more than 8 times more likely to report having attempted suicide compared with peers from families with little or no rejection.


D’Augelli (2002) found high rates of victimization among LGB youth from community settings: more than three quarters reported verbal abuse and about one in seven reported physical attacks, and victimized youth reported more mental health problems.


Eisenberg and Resnick (2004) found that family connectedness, caring adults, and school safety serve as protective factors from suicide for LGB individuals.


Nine out of 10 LGBT students (86.2%) experienced harassment at school; three-fifths (60.8%) felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation; and about one-third (32.7%) skipped a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe (GLSEN National School Climate Survey 2009).


LGBT students are three times as likely as non-LGBT students to say that they do not feel safe at school (22% vs. 7%) and 90% of LGBT students (vs. 62% of non-LGBT teens) have been harassed or assaulted during the past year. (GLSEN From Teasing to Torment 2006)


Sexual minority youth, or teens that identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, are bullied two to three times more than heterosexuals. (Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH 2010)


Almost all transgender students had been verbally harassed (e.g., called names or threatened in the past year at school because of their sexual orientation (89%) and gender expression (89%) (GLSEN: Harsh Realities, The Experiences of Transgender Youth In Our Nation’s Schools 2009).


LGBT youth in rural communities and those with lower adult educational attainment face particularly hostile school climates (JG, Greytak EA, Diaz EM – Journal of Youth & Adolescence 2009)


Lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents are 190 percent more likely to use drugs and alcohol than are heterosexual teens (Marshal MP, Friedman MS, et al – Addiction 2008).


It is estimated that between 20 and 40 percent of all homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (2006 National Gay & Lesbian Task Force: An Epidemic of Homelessness). 62% of homeless LGB youth will attempt suicide at least once—more than two times as many as their heterosexual peers (Van Leeuwen JMm et al – Child Welfare 2005)





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Macomb County Suicide Prevention Coalition
The Macomb County Suicide Prevention Coalition (MCSPC) is incorporated as a stand-alone charitable organization governed by concerned professionals and citizens. The MCSPC is not a corporate affiliate of either Macomb County Community Mental Health or the County of Macomb.

The contents of this website were made possible by the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrating Schools and Mental Health Systems Grant. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government