Special Populations at Risk: LGBTQ                                              (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning)

Suicide is the #1 cause of death for LGBTQ youth ages 10 to 24, and

3rd leading cause of death for all LGBTQ.

The Facts

  • Various research has shown that for LGBTQ each year:

    • More likely to attempt suicide than heterosexuals:

      • For youth, 2 times more likely.

      • For all LGBTQ, 2 to 6 times more likely.

    • 30% will have attempted suicide before the age of 15.

      • Of those that have, over 50% indicate they have attempted suicide more than once.

  • Mental health issues and substance use increase with homophobia, hate crime, or other form(s) of oppression because of sexual orientation.  Such discrimination can come from one or all of the following:

    • Home

    • School

    • Church

    • Society

  • Now more than ever bullying is contributing to LGBTQ suicide.  The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) national study on LGBTQ found that, youth in high schools, because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation:

    • 80% had been verbally harassed at school,

    • 60% felt unsafe at school,

    • 40% had been physically harassed at school, and

    • 20% had been physically assaulted at school.

    • Additionally, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, sex/gender minority (LGBTQ) youth can expect to hear an average of 25 anti-gay comments each day at school.

Risk Factors

  • Mental illness including depression, bipolar, and substance abuse.

  • Victim of bullying, homophobia, hate crime, or other form of oppression due to sexual orientation.

  • Family stress, dysfunction, and/or suicide history.

  • Stressful environment (e.g. problems at school, experiencing loss, etc.)

  • Access to lethal weapons (e.g. guns in home).

  • Preoccupation with death (including subtle or direct comments about suicide).

  • Past suicide attempts.

Warning Signs

  • Warning signs of suicide by LGBTQ are the same as for other youth and adults.  Learn more by clicking here.  However, keep in mind the LGBTQ individual's perspective and specific situation(s) must be taken into account.

What to Do

  • Steps you would take for LGBTQ are the same as you would for other youth and adults.  Learn more by clicking here.  However, keep in mind the LGBTQ individual's perspective and specific situation(s) must be taken into account.