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Trigger warning: This post contains mention of suicide.
September is officially recognized as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month with September 10 designated as World Suicide Prevention Day. We know that LGBTQ people commonly face higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts — not because of who they are, but because of the discrimination and harassment they receive from society. LGBTQ youth are at particular risk, with recent data showing that 29% of transgender youth, 21% of gay and lesbian youth and 22% of bisexual youth have attempted suicide.
This Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, HRC is shining a light on LGBTQ mental health and connecting people with the resources needed to get the help they need. We co-hosted a Twitter chat with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention discussing common questions around suicide prevention and how to help others #KeepGoing. Here's what we had to say.
When it comes to the LGBTQ community, it’s important to know that mental health challenges are often related to anti-LGBTQ bias or discrimination. Educating yourself on the experiences of LGBTQ people is important for risk prevention. #KeepGoing https://t.co/cfxiHl3XoF— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 8, 2020
A2: Starting without judgement is always important, especially when talking to a loved one that's LGBTQ. Affirm their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression, and be aware of your language — both verbal & physical. #KeepGoing https://t.co/5GytaXwfic— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 8, 2020
A3. #ConversionTherapy puts LGBTQ youth at a higher risk for suicide, and it's still much more common than most people realize.— The Trevor Project (@TrevorProject) September 8, 2020
Advocate with us to protect LGBTQ youth by texting TREVOR to 40649 and taking action online at: https://t.co/UGQLbnLV07 📲 #KeepGoing https://t.co/KQEIl6UU17
A4: A key aspect of self-care for the LGBTQ community is connecting with individuals or networks that are affirming and supportive of our identities. This can range from chosen families to virtual support spaces like the one @TrevorProject provides. #KeepGoing https://t.co/DqBsDITfmE— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 8, 2020
A6: It’s important for LGBTQ people experiencing a crisis to know that they can find resources that are affirming like the @glbtNatlHelpCtr, @TransLifeline and @TrevorProject. These programs are designed to help those in need at virtually any time. #KeepGoing https://t.co/aPDcQ4GmYL— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 8, 2020
A7: Our partner @MentalHealthAm has a confidential screening tool that provides one of the quickest & easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. You can take the screening test for yourself at https://t.co/useE7d8cjq. #KeepGoing https://t.co/U6xBTYXb6r— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 8, 2020
A8: @HRC recognizes the importance of staying connected and reaching out for help, especially during these times. Share this video with your community to remind them that we’re all in this together and to share mental health resources. pic.twitter.com/Sea6P9pY7O #KeepGoing https://t.co/Lsjmg0hVDZ— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 8, 2020
A8: We also have a compilation of mental health resources for queer & trans Black, Indigenous and People of Color for those with intersecting identities commonly left out of conversations around mental health. #KeepGoing https://t.co/useE7d8cjq https://t.co/Lsjmg0hVDZ— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 8, 2020
If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you’re a young LGBTQ person and need to talk to someone, call The Trevor Project’s 24-hour crisis hotline for youth at 1-866-488-7386. If you are a transgender person of any age, call the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.