In a study released this spring by the Trevor Project, the LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention and mental health organization found an upward trend in suicidal ideation among queer youth, many of whom are trans and people of color.
“The Trevor Project’s research demonstrates that suicidal thoughts have trended upward among LGBTQ young people over the last three years, making our lifesaving work all the more important. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and relentless political attacks during this time period cannot be understated,” Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of the Trevor Project, said in a statement.
The findings are part of the group’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, which included responses from almost 34,000 LGBTQ+ Americans between the ages of 13 and 24. The group said 45 percent of respondents were youth of color while 48 percent identified as trans or nonbinary, making this “one of the most diverse surveys of LGBTQ youth ever conducted.”
The survey indicated that 45 percent of respondents have considered attempting suicide in the past year. Over half of transgender and nonbinary youth have considered ending their lives (53 percent), while 33 percent of cisgender queer youth have. The Trevor Project also found that many young people are reporting high levels of anxiety (73 percent) and depression (58 percent).
The organization also found that 60 percent of those who wanted mental health care couldn’t secure it. The reasons for that included fears of discussing mental health, concerns over parental permission, worries over not being taken seriously, and lack of financial ability.
Those with more marginalized identities reported a greater suicide risk. For instance, 19 percent of trans and nonbinary youth had attempted suicide in the last year; 9 percent of cisgender lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer youth had.
The rate of suicide attempts was higher among LGBTQ+ youth of color than among white LGBTQ+ youth (10 percent). According to the study, 21 percent of Native/Indigenous youth, 20 percent of Middle Eastern/North African youth, 19 percent of Black youth, 17 percent of multiracial youth, 16 percent of Latinx youth, and 12 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander youth had attempted suicide over the past year.
This story is part of The Advocate’s 2022 Advocacy and Politics issue, which is out on newsstands July 12. To get your own copy directly, support queer media and subscribe — or download yours for Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Apple News.