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Multiracial LGBTQ Youth Face Heightened Suicide Risk

BY: Trevor News
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Multiracial LGBTQ youth report 10% higher rates of considering suicide and nearly 30% higher rates of suicide attempts in the past year compared to their peers

August 8, 2022 — A new report released today by The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBTQ young people, is the first of its kind to exclusively explore the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ youth, highlighting the unique mental health experiences among youth of different racial backgrounds.

Key findings include:

  • Nearly half of multiracial LGBTQ youth (48%) reported seriously considering suicide in the past year, compared to 45% of all LGBTQ youth
  • Nearly one in five multiracial LGBTQ youth (17%) attempted suicide in the past year, compared to 14% of all LGBTQ youth
  • Multiracial transgender and nonbinary youth reported higher rates of suicide risk, with 55% seriously considering suicide and 22% attempting suicide in the past year
  • Multiracial LGBTQ youth who are exclusively youth of color reported higher rates of both seriously considering (52%) and attempting suicide (21%) in the past year compared to multiracial LGBTQ youth who are White and another race/ethnicity

“These findings shine a light on the unique mental health challenges and suicide risk of young people living with the distinctive identities of being multiracial and LGBTQ. The research world has largely overlooked this group of young people and how they might experience various risk and protective factors,” said Myeshia Price (she/her or they/them pronouns), Director of Research Science at The Trevor Project. “These novel findings overwhelmingly point to an urgent need to invest in mental health services and prevention programs that specifically affirm the identities of multiracial LGBTQ youth and are attuned to the nuances of how they navigate and experience the world.”

Multiracial LGBTQ youth reported higher rates of negative risk factors — such as experiences of homelessness, food insecurity, and discrimination and victimization based on their race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity — than their peers. In particular, multiracial LGBTQ youth who are exclusively youth of color reported higher rates of race/ethnicity-based discrimination compared to multiracial LGBTQ youth who are White and another race/ethnicity (55% vs. 37%). These findings highlight the potential role that racism contributes to poor mental health among young people of color. 

These data also illustrate protective factors unique to multiracial LGBTQ youth, which may play an important role in uplifting their wellbeing and preventing suicide. Multiracial LGBTQ youth who reported high levels of social support from family and high levels of support from friends had significantly lower odds of attempting suicide in the past year than youth who did not have that support (55% and 39%).

This report was created using data from a national sample of nearly 4,739 multiracial LGBTQ youth ages 13–24 who participated in The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health. The full report can be found here.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Get-Help, or by texting START to 678678. 

Methodology

The content and methodology for The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health were approved by an independent Institutional Review Board (IRB). This quantitative cross-sectional survey was conducted using an online survey platform between September and December 2021 among nearly 34,000 youth ages 13–24 residing in the United States. All youth respondents were asked, “What best describes your race or ethnicity?” with options: Asian/Asian American, Black/African American, Hispanic or Latino/Latinx, more than one race or ethnicity, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian, White/Caucasian, and another race or ethnicity (please specify). Youth who selected more than one race or ethnicity were asked a follow-up question where they were able to select with which races or ethnicities they identified. The current analyses include the 4,739 LGBTQ youth who selected more than one race or ethnicity, henceforth referred to as multiracial. Visit here for additional information on methodology.

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat, as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. 

Media Inquiries:

Nicholas Turton
[email protected]

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