Franklin James Cook

Experts Weigh In on Suicidal Behavior in LGB Youth

In Policy, Prevention, Stigma on December 12, 2008 at 2:28 pm

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) announces the release of a paper titled “Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth,” which “highlights the higher risk of suicidal behavior among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth,” noting that “this higher risk may well extend to transgender youth.”

A variety of studies indicate that LGB youth are nearly one and a half to three times more likely to have reported suicidal ideation than non-LGB youth. Research from several sources also revealed that LGB youth are nearly one and a half to seven times more likely than non-LGB youth to have reported attempting suicide … Most mortality data do not include sexual orientation. However, based on the higher rate of suicide attempts among LGB youth and the relative seriousness of their suicide attempts, it is likely that LGB youth experience higher rates of suicide deaths than their non-LGB peers.

Based on their conclusions about suicide risk and protective factors for LGB youth, the authors list more than 20 recommendations” targeted at “three venues for providing services to youth [that] can make vital differences in the lives of LGBT youth–schools, mental health and social services, and health care services–by increasing safety and inclusion.”

Among the recommendations, several focus directly on responding to suicidal youth, for instance ..

Implement training for all staff members to effectively serve LGBT youth by including recognition and response to warning signs for suicide and the risk and protective factors for suicidal behavior in LGBT youth;

several focus on LGBT youths’ access to care, for instance …

Assess and ensure that youth services and providers are inclusive, responsive to, and affirming of the needs of LGBT youth, and refer youth to these services and providers;

several focus on cultural issues affecting LGBT youth, for instance …

Use an LGBT cultural competence model that enables individuals and agencies to work effectively with LGBT youth cultures;

and several focus on the development and implementation of prevention programs, for instance …

Address explicitly the needs of LGBT youth in school-based programs and policies to prevent violence and bullying.

[The abridged URL for this post is  http://tinyurl.com/LGB-Youth .]

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  1. […] [Related SPNAC post: Experts Weigh In on Suicidal Behavior in LGB Youth] […]

  2. […] A paper from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) reporting on “a variety of studies indicat[ing] that LGB youth are nearly one-and-a-half to three times more likely to have reported suicidal ideation than non-LGB youth. Research from several sources also revealed that LGB youth are nearly one-and-a-half to seven times more likely than non-LGB youth to have reported attempting suicide” […]

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