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New survey gives snapshot of LGBTQ mental health, suicide risk

The Trevor Project’s first National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health was released this week — and its results are disturbing.

Among the more dramatic results are numbers on suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among LGBTQ youth.

Thirty-nine percent of LGBTQ young people surveyed seriously considered suicide in the year leading up to the survey. That number was 54 percent among transgender and non-binary youth in the survey.

Nearly one in five LGBTQ youth actually made a suicide attempt over the same period — and one in three transgender or nonbinary youth made an attempt.

Add so-called “conversion therapy” designed to “cure” young people of being LGBTQ and the numbers get even higher.

Among LGBTQ youth in the survey who had been through conversion therapy, suicide attempts were at 42 percent. For transgender and nonbinary youth who had experienced it, the number was 57 percent.

This month Colorado became the 18th U.S. state to outlaw conversion therapy, part of a wave of such laws sweeping the nation.

In North Carolina, the Mental Health Protection Act, was filed in March. It would outlaw conversion therapy, part of a rapidly growing national movement.  Despite polls showing overwhelming bipartisan support for the ban, it faced stiff opposition from religious groups and conservative Republicans and did not receive a hearing in this legislative session. No such bill has yet been passed in any state in the Southeast.

“The data provides a sobering look at how far we still have to go to protect LGBTQ young lives,” wrote Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of the Trevor Project, in a statement accompanying the survey results. “But the survey also reveals the resilience and diversity of LGBTQ youth and provides guidance on what can be done to enable them to survive and thrive.”

Get the full report (and info on methodology) here.

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