Nearly half of young LGBTQ+ Americans seriously considered suicide last year, alarming new study finds
45% of LGBTQ youth in the US seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, a new study has found. It’s the third consecutive year that rates of suicidal ideation have increased among LGBTQ youth, according to findings.
Trevor Project, the nonprofit suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ young people, has (4 May) released findings of its 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ youth mental health.
The survey captured the experiences of nearly 34,000 LGBTQ youth in the US, aged between 13 and 24. Of those surveyed, 45% of respondents were LGBTQ youth of color, while 48% were transgender or non-binary.
The survey revealed that 45% of LGBTQ youth had ‘seriously considered ‘attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth and 1 in 3 cisgender youth.
Research showed that 53% of those who seriously considered suicide in the past year were transgender and nonbinary youth, while 33% were cisgender young people. Fourteen percent of LGBTQ youth did attempt suicide last year, including nearly one in five transgender and nonbinary youth, as well as nearly one in 10 cisgender youth.
In addition, LGBTQ youth of color reported higher rates of having considered suicide than their white peers.
The numbers are particularly concerting in relation to trans and nonbinary young people. 59% of transgender boys and men reported seriously considering suicide in the past year, as did 53% of nonbinary youth and 48% of transgender girls and women. 22% of transgender boys and men reported attempting suicide in the past year, compared to 6% of cisgender boys and men.
LGBTQ+ people between the age of 13 and 17 were much more likely to consider or attempt suicide than those who were 18 to 24 years old, the survey also found.
Crucially, the annual survey conducted by the Trevor Project over the past three years indicate that the number of LGBTQ youth seriously considering suicide have increased each year – 40% to 42% to 45% – meaning things are getting worse, not better.
Anxiety & Depression
In other mental health areas, 73% of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety, including more than three-quarters of transgender and nonbinary youth and nearly two-thirds of cisgender youth.
While, 58% of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing symptoms of depression, including nearly two-thirds of transgender and nonbinary youth and nearly half of cisgender youth.
The survey notes that LGBTQ youth are not inherently prone to suicide risk because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, but rather placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society.
The Trevor Project CEO and executive director Amit Paley said the findings gave “critical insights into some of the unique suicide risk factors faced by LGBTQ youth, top barriers to mental health care, and the negative impacts of COVID-19 and relentless anti-transgender legislation.”
“I think that the biggest takeaway overall is that LGBTQ youth suicide is a public health crisis, and that so many of the challenges that are coming up in the world over the past three years are only exacerbating the crisis that we already knew existed,” said Paley.
The simultaneous slew of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the US and the rise in mental health issues faced by LGBTQ+ youth are, obviously, not coincidental.
As the religious right continue to its attempts to dismantle LGBTQ+ freedoms and rights, the impacts are being felt across the country.
We have reported on GOP politicians and public figures intensifying their anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric online of late, even at one point taking aim at The Trevor Project, an organization which literally saves young peoples’ lives.
More than eight in 10 of the transgender and nonbinary respondents in the 2022 National Survey said recent legislation targeting trans people has impacted their mental health.
While 91% of transgender and nonbinary youth said that they’ve worried about transgender people being denied access to bathrooms due to state or local laws.
We must be united in the global fight for LGBTQ+ rights, and we must protect the mental health and lives of LGBTQ+ youth.
For the full set of findings from The Trevor Project’s 2022 survey click here.