Saturday, August 29, 2009

LGBT Youth: Suicide Risk and Prevention - January 27, 2009 - Health and Human Development (HHD)

There is growing concern about the risk of suicide among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. According to research, a higher proportion of these youth consider and attempt suicide compared to their heterosexual peers; and the increased risk of suicide may well extend to transgender youth. In addition, it seems likely that there is a higher rate of deaths from suicide among youth who are lesbian, gay, and bisexual.

Suicidal behavior can be explained, in part, by examining risk factors—the conditions or experiences that increase the likelihood of suicide. Overall, the risk factors are greater and more severe for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth (LGBT). This group of youth experience higher rates of depression and substance abuse, factors associated with increased risk of suicide. They also often lack family support, an important condition that can protect youth from suicidal behavior. Photo

Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth is a new publication produced by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, a federally-funded center run by HHD. This publication addresses the special concerns related to suicide prevention among LGBT youth. It summarizes the research about suicide risks with this group of youth, and provides recommendations for reducing suicidal behaviors.

The recommendations are focused on the following:

* lowering risks specific to or affecting LGBT youth

* improving service provider’s recognition of youth at risk

* increasing outreach and access to services for youth at risk

* increasing coping skills and other factors that can protect LGBT

youth from suicide risk

Read and learn moreHealth and Human Development (HHD)

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Effie Malley, a senior prevention specialist with SPRC and one of the authors of this publication was interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered

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