If you or someone you know is in need of support, seek help immediately. Free, confidential crisis counselors for LGBTQ youth and adults are available through The Trevor Project via chat, phone, or text or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time.
It’s a tradition to mark Pride on the ClubX Blog, and to highlight specific ways that youth development professionals can serve LGBTQ youth all year long. New survey data from our friends at The Trevor Project underscores why calling out the needs of these youth specifically is so vital. The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health is one of the largest and most diverse surveys of this population ever conducted. The data gives key insight into what young people are thinking and feeling, and what they need from the adults who care about them right now. It’s hard reading, but it is life-saving.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 24 overall, but for youth who are LGBTQ the rates are even higher. According to this new survey:
45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year.
14% of LGBTQ youth attempted suicide in the past year.
This is horrifying. Absolutely horrifying. Everyone who cares about young people should think so too. Other startling findings include:
- 73% of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety.
- Including more than three-quarters of transgender and nonbinary youth.
- 58% of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing symptoms of depression.
- 60% of LGBTQ youth who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it.
- The top two reasons for this included fear of discussing mental health concerns and concerns with obtaining caregiver permission.
- 36% of LGBTQ youth have reported that they have been physically threatened or harmed due to either their sexual orientation or gender identity.
But there is good news in this data too.
LGBTQ youth who live in a community that is accepting of LGBTQ people reported significantly lower rates of attempting suicide compared to those who did not.
And here is our charge. To accept all the young people who come through the Blue Door as their whole and complete selves. To create in our spaces physically and emotionally safe environments where they can have fun and build supportive relationships with adults and their peers. To provide them with opportunities to try new things and hold high expectations for their success, and to recognize their achievements and their efforts and their through-the-roof value as individuals. All with full acceptance and unequivocal belonging.
If a young person in your Club is exhibiting warning signs or thinking about suicide, seek help immediately. Free, confidential crisis counselors for LGBTQ youth and adults are available through The Trevor Project via chat, phone, or text or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time. Learn more about the warning signs in this ClubX Blog post:
BGCA has stories and resources to support and empower young people, inform allies, and foster safe spaces and conversations as we work toward a more inclusive future. Use them in your Club and share them with your communities
- Serving LGBTQ Youth Toolkit
- Working with LGBTQ+ Youth Training on Spillett Leadership University
- Best Practices for Mentoring LGBTQ Youth
- Supporting Black LGBTQ+ Youth
- Club Story: Whatever It Takes to Be Inclusive
- LGBTQ+ Advocacy Activities on MyFuture
- BGCA E-Store Pride Collection
- External Resources & Stories on BGCA.org
- Pride Month Marketing Assets for Clubs