A national group dedicated to preventing gay teen suicide has added two Hollywood luminaries to its board: actor Neil Patrick Harris and Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, both openly gay.
The Trevor Project, a non-profit group that focuses on crisis management and suicide prevention for GLBT youth, announced in a press release that Harris and Black had been elected to its Board of Directors. Black penned the Oscar-winning screenplay for Milk, the Gus Van Sant-directed biopic of the slain civil rights leader and politician Harvey Milk; Harris, who stars in the long-running comedy How I Met Your Mother, also has producing and directing credits on his resume. Photos
"Because Dustin Lance Black and Neil Patrick Harris have already demonstrated their tireless commitment to LGBTQ youth and The Trevor Project, we are thrilled to welcome them to our leadership team," the group’s executive director, Charles Robbins, said. "As prominent members of the entertainment community, they will certainly help raise awareness about The Trevor Project’s programs and their insight will be invaluable as we work to empower young people with the crisis intervention skills and suicide prevention resources they need." Read complete article & more - by Kilian Melloy - EDGE Boston
In America, more than 32,000 people die by suicide each year (2005 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Suicide is one of the top three causes of death among 15 to 24-year-olds; only accidents and homicide occur more frequently (2006 National Adolescent Health Information).
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college campuses (2008 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
For every completed suicide by a young person, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made (2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey).
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Massachusetts 2006 Youth Risk Survey).
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth who come from a rejecting family are up to nine times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (2007 San Francisco State University Chavez Center Institute).
A tendency toward isolation and social withdrawal
Expression of negative attitudes toward self
Expression of hopelessness or helplessness
Loss of interest in usual activities
Giving away valued possessions
Expression of a lack of future orientation (i.e. "It won't matter soon anyway").
For someone who has been very depressed, when that depression begins to lift, the individual may be at INCREASED risk of suicide, as the individual will have the psychological energy to follow-through on suicidal ideation.