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WEST HOLLYWOOD – In its third annual survey released late last week, Project Trevor found that well over two-thirds of the 35,000 LGBTQ youth aged 13 to 24 in the United States surveyed said the effects of coronavirus pandemic had largely had a negative impact on their lives.
“The past year has been incredibly difficult for so many LGBTQ youth due to multiple crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the hostile political climate and repeated acts of racist and transphobic violence. These data clearly show that LGBTQ youth face unique mental health challenges and continue to experience disparities in access to care, family rejection and discrimination. “Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of Project Trevor at The Blade, said in an emailed statement.
“We are proud that this survey sample is the most diverse to date, with 45% LGBTQ youth of color and 38% transgender or non-binary. The data speaks to the wide variety of experiences and identities of LGBTQ youth across the country, and underscores the need for comprehensive and intersectional policy solutions to address systemic barriers and end suicide, ”he added. .
Project Trevor also noted that this year’s survey reflected a broader sense of diversity, with 45% of LGBTQ youth being of color and 38% transgender or non-binary. The study highlights that only 1 in 3 LGBTQ + young people live in an assertive household. It also shows the impact of discrimination on the mental health of LGBTQ + youth of color.
According to the report, 42% of LGBTQ youth have seriously considered suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and non-binary youth. Additionally, 12% of white youth have attempted suicide, compared to 31% of native / native youth, 21% of black youth, 21% of multiracial youth, 18% of Latinx youth, and 12% of Asian youth. / Pacific Islands.
Statistically, LGBTQ + youth are at greater risk for depression and suicide than their heterosexual peers. A contributing factor is the lack of space or environment in the home. More than 80% of LGBTQ youth said COVID-19 made their life situation more stressful – and only 1 in 3 LGBTQ young people found their home to be LGBTQ-friendly.
“These findings are of great concern as they highlight many distinct factors that contribute to the risk of suicide among LGBTQ youth. But we encourage lawmakers, public health officials and youth-serving organizations to focus on the protective factors highlighted in the data, which point to best practices for better supporting LGBTQ youth, ”Dr Amy Green , vice president of research at The Trevor Project, the registered clinical psychologist who oversaw the investigation, said.
“Again, we find that LGBTQ affirmation spaces and inclusive transgender policies and practices are consistently associated with lower rates of suicide attempts. The past year has been really tough for many of us, but we also know that LGBTQ youth in particular face unique challenges, ”said Green.
The main findings include:
94% of LGBTQ youth said the recent policy had had a negative impact on their mental health.
70% of LGBTQ youth said their mental health was ‘bad’ most or all of the time during COVID-19.
48% of LGBTQ youth said they wanted advice from a mental health professional, but were unable to receive it in the past year.
30% of LGBTQ youth have experienced food insecurity in the past month, including half of all Indigenous / Indigenous LGBTQ youth.
75% of LGBTQ youth reported having experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity at least once in their life.
Half of all LGBTQ youth of color reported discrimination based on their race / ethnicity in the past year, including 67% of black LGBTQ youth and 60% of Asia / Pacific LGBTQ youth.
13% of LGBTQ youth said they had undergone conversion therapy, and 83% said it happened when they were under 18.
Transgender and non-binary youth who reported having pronouns respected by everyone they lived with attempted suicide at half the rate of those whose pronouns were not respected by those they lived with. Trans and non-binary youth who were able to change their name and / or gender marker on legal documents, like driver’s licenses and birth certificates, reported lower rates of suicide attempts.
LGBTQ youth who had access to spaces confirming their sexual orientation and gender identity reported lower rates of suicide attempts. An overwhelming majority of LGBTQ youth said social media had both positive (96%) and negative (88%) effects on their mental health and well-being.
“Project Trevor is the largest suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth, but even we don’t know how many LGBTQ youth die by suicide each year because this data just isn’t being collected systematically,” said Green and added; “This third annual survey aims to fill the gaps in the limited research we have on LGBTQ youth mental health and suicide risk as a means of raising public awareness and improving public health interventions.
To read the full report, go here: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2021/?section=Introduction
If you are a young LGBTQ, know that you are never alone and that The Trevor Project is there to support you 24/7.
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