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Preventing Suicide in LGBTQ Youth


Adolescence can be a difficult time for many young people, particularly those who feel different from the rest or believe they do not fit into the norm of their society. While great strides have been made in the understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ individuals, there are still many who deal with negative attitudes and behaviors on a daily basis. As a result, LGBTQ suicide prevention, in Houston and around the globe, is an important concern.

By The Numbers

The complexities of going through adolescence while identifying as LGBTQ are greater than what the numbers can tell us, but statistics can give us a clear picture of the severity of the problem of LGBTQ suicidal thoughts and attempts:

  • 29% of LGBTQ youth have attempted suicide, which is almost 5 times higher than the rate among heterosexual adolescents
  • 10% have been threatened by or injured with a weapon on school property
  • 34% are bullied at school
  • 28% are bullied electronically
  • LGBTQ students are 140% more likely to stay home from school
  • LGBTQ youth who have been highly rejected by their families are 8.4% more likely to attempt suicide
  • 40% of transgender adults have attempted suicide, and of those, 92% reported that it was attempted before age 25

LGBTQ Suicide Prevention

To be a part of LGBTQ suicide prevention, practice kindness and acceptance. Respect all, and respect equally. Some steps that can be taken toward LGBTQ suicide prevention are:

  • Establish support groups and alliances in schools and communities
  • Initiate formal policies prohibiting violence and harassment toward any person
  • Set up safe spaces for any person feeling threatened
  • Adopt health curricula in schools and social programs that include LGBTQ information and language
  • Provide easy access to community resources geared to LGBTQ youth, such as:
  • Health screenings
  • Counseling
  • Medical advice
  • Encourage open, honest, and accepting lines of communication
  • Be involved in the lives of LGBTQ youth to observe them more closely
  • Organize supportive and educational community events
  • Watch for the signs of bullying or suicidal thoughts:
  • Not caring about the future
  • Extreme self-deprecation
  • Hopelessness
  • Comments about suicide
  • Radical changes in personality or behaviors
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Idolizing those who have committed suicide
  • Physical signs such as aches and pains, headaches, and stomach problems

At Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, we want to help in the battle against discrimination and be a leader in LGBTQ suicide prevention. We have many successful programs that can address LGBTQ concerns, as well as other mental health concerns of adolescents and adults.

Contact us today for more information about our facilities and programs, with questions about LGBTQ or other concerns, or to speak to someone about our admissions process. We are here to help.