Nearly half of LGBTQ youth in the United States have “seriously considering a suicide attempt” in 2021, according to a survey published this Wednesday, May 4. According to Amit Paley, executive director of The Trevor Project, the LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization that conducted the survey, this “shows that rates of suicidal thoughts have been on the rise over the past three years among LGBTQ youth”(acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer).
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The survey, conducted among 34,000 young people aged 13 to 24 who identify as LGBTQ, shows that 45% “seriously considering a suicide attempt in 2021”, and that 14% of the total had attempted suicide during the year. In the 13 to 17 age group, the figure rises to 50%.
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LGBTQ high school students more often consider suicide
More broadly, experts have noted an increase in the suicide rate among young people in the United States, especially high school students, during the Covid-19 pandemic and the social isolations it has caused.
But a 2019 study by the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the top US health authority, already found it existed among high school students nationwide. “a significant difference in having seriously considered a suicide attempt based on sexual orientation”.
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For example, 14.5% of students who identified as heterosexual answered yes to this question, but among students who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, the figure was 46.8%.
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The context of recent years in the country has only reinforced these trends, analyzes The Trevor Project. “The Covid-19 pandemic and an unprecedented wave of anti-transgender legislation continue to negatively affect the mental health of young LGBTQ people”says the association in its report.
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She advances as well as the number of young LGBTQ people in the United States who have “seriously considering a suicide attempt” is up two percentage points from its 2020 survey, and five points from its 2019 survey. Overall, 73% of LGBTQ youth in the United States reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety and 58% symptoms of depression.
More than nine in 10 transgender or non-binary youth among those surveyed also say they have worried during 2021 that transgender people are being denied access to care related to their transition journey due to local laws.