The recently released report from the Trevor Project illuminates the many challenges from the past year that LGBTQ youth faced. The voices of 35,00 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 from across the United States contributed. The third annual survey looks at the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health care disparities, discrimination, food insecurity, conversion therapy, and suicide, as well as the benefits of LGBTQ-affirming spaces and respecting the pronouns of transgender and nonbinary youth.
Our focus will be on the Suicide & Mental Health and the Find Support portions of the report.
“42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.”
“In the past year, nearly half of LGBTQ youth have wanted counseling from a mental health professional, but did not receive it.”
What do you feel when you read these quotes from the report? For myself, I am heart broken. Though these are quotes speak about numbers, there are youth and stories behind every one of these numbers. We should be striving for these numbers to be zero, where LGBTQ youth don’t need to consider suicide because the community at large supports them.
So, what can we do to help bring those numbers down to zero?
Consider taking advantage of the resources listed below to make a difference in your own community and the lives LGBTQ youth.
- Trevor Project Resource Page
- Human Rights Campaign: 5 Things You Can Do Today to Support LGBTQ Youth
- GLSEN: Supporting LGBTQ Youth of Color
And consider supporting organizations that are LGBTQ friendly that help provide access to mental health care like ours so that youth have access to therapy.
Adding a couple more pieces of wisdom to close out today’s post.
- Remember that while there is the acronym, LGBTQ, everyone has their own experiences. Take the time to learn rather than generalize.
- Use a youth’s preferred pronouns.
- Be a listening and supporting ear.
June is Pride Month, a time when we remember and honor people and stories. But remember, honoring and supporting LGBTQ youth is not just for one month of year. It is a year-round, day-by-day, minute-by-minute, and second-by-second awareness and advocacy.