Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, announced its recognition of National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month month throughout September, with World Suicide Prevention Day falling on September 10.
HRC is marking World Suicide Prevention Day by reaffirming its commitment to supporting the well-being of LGBTQ+ people, especially queer and trans youth, who are too often made to feel hopeless and alone simply for being who they are. The organization will also uplift the life and legacy of Henry Berg-Brousseau, a beloved member of the HRC team who tragically died by suicide in December 2022.
The mental health disparities between LGBTQ+ people and non-LGBTQ+ people — especially LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ youth — continues to be an alarming trend. In 2021, the CDC reported that 42% of all high school aged youth in the US experienced “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness,” the highest percentage reported in over a decade. That same year, almost 70% of LGBQ+ youth reported experiencing this, twice that of non-LGBTQ+ youth (35%). According to HRC’s 2023 Youth survey Report, over half (55%) of LGBTQ+ youth, and 60% of transgender and gender-expansive youth, screened positive for depression, and two-thirds of LGBTQ+ youth (63.5%), and transgender and gender-expansive youth (68.2%), screened positive for anxiety.
Familial support has been shown to drastically decrease levels of depression. For instance, two-thirds (65.5%) of transgender and gender-expansive youth who report their families never refer to them with correct pronouns screened positive for depression; in comparison, less than half (49.6%) of transgender and gender-expansive youth who report their families always use correct pronouns did.
Participating in school sports and other extracurricular activities can also have numerous positive benefits for youth—regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Both sports and extracurricular activity participation are associated with school connectedness, which in turn is associated with reduced risk behaviors, higher grades and graduation rates, and lower levels of suicidality and poor mental health. When bans, such as those on transgender participation in sports are implemented that are currently in place across half of the United States, it strips LGBTQ+ youth from having access to the mental health benefits provided by those extracurriculars.
If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health concerns, please refer to the list of resources below:
TransLifeline – Call (877) 565-8860 for urgent support.
LGBT National Youth Talkline – Call (888) 843-4564 during operating hours for support.
The Steve Fund – Text STEVE to 741741 for urgent support.
THRIVE Lifeline – Text (313) 662-8209 for urgent support if you are 18+.
Project Lets – Text (401) 400-2905 for urgent support with psychiatric incarceration and involuntary hospitalization.
To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.