Suicide has long been an issue for LBGT youth, but a new study finds that they’re four times as likely to try to take their own lives than their hetero peers.
Researcher from San Diego State University interviewed 16,000 young people in 2015, asking them about mental health and sexuality.
The results, published in JAMA, underscores the crisis in LGBT youth suicide: 25% of the teens who identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning reported a suicide attempt in the last year, as compared to just 6% of heterosexuals.
A full 40% of gay/bi youth had “seriously considered” suicide, while 35% actually made plans. (Trans and gender-nonconforming youth were not incorporated into this study.)
“There have been some indications that LGBQ youth face increased suicide risks, yet many believed the jury was still out,” wrote study author John Ayers of SDSU’s School of Public Health. “Our study yields a clear verdict: LGBQ youth face staggeringly high suicide risks.”
The study did not explore the causes of suicidal ideation among queer youth, but LGBT kids are more likely to be subjected to a host of negative influences, including bullying, rejection by family, conversion therapy and homelessness. Depression among LGBT people has been shown to increase significantly after new laws that discriminate against gay people are passed.
Researchers out of the University of Nevada recently reported that gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning youth who reported at least one adverse childhood experience ((ACE) were seven times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual students. More than half of LGB students reported at least two ACEs, which raises their odds of attempting suicide to 13 times that of their straight peers.
“It is imperative that we identify adolescent populations at greatest risk to guide our prevention efforts,” author Kristen Clements-Nolle told Reuters.
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