Forty percent of young LGBTQ people have considered suicide in the last year; that rises to more than half for trans and non-binary youth.
That’s according to the second annual survey on LGBTQ youth mental health by The Trevor Project. The non-profit organization provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ people under the age of 25.
“LGBTQ youth already deal with housing instability, food insecurity and trouble accessing health care,” she says. “All of that is exacerbated by a pandemic,” [says clinical psychologist Amy Green.]
The survey found that 46% of LGBTQ youth said they wanted counseling from a mental health professional but were unable to receive it in the past 12 months. The top barriers were affordability and parental permission.
Not being accepted by family members also can have an impact on mental health. Six out of 10 LGBTQ youth said that someone — a relative, religious leader — tried to convince them to change their sexuality or gender.
[The Trevor Project CEO Amit] Paley says he hopes the survey results help inform efforts to improve mental health outcomes for the community.
“The reason they face these elevated risks of suicide is not because there is something inherently wrong with LGBTQ people,” he says. “The reason that they are facing these negative outcomes is because of the discrimination and bias that exists in society today.”