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New National Survey of LGBTQ+ Young People Shows High Rates of Suicide Risk, Harmful Impacts of Anti-LGBTQ+ Politics and Bullying

BY: Trevor News
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Lower rates of attempting suicide reported by those who had access to affirming spaces and communities 

May 1, 2024 — The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ young people, released The 2024 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People, representing the experiences of more than 18,000 LGBTQ+ young people ages 13 to 24 across the United States. The survey’s findings underscore that LGBTQ+ young people continue to report high rates of mental health challenges, suicide risk, and associated experiences of anti-LGBTQ+ victimization such as bullying, discrimination, threats of physical violence, and conversion therapy.

The survey also includes data on ways to support LGBTQ+ young people, and highlights the association between lower odds of suicide risk and access to LGBTQ+-affirming spaces and experiences, such as affirming homes, schools, and communities, as well as gender-neutral bathrooms, clothing, and respect for pronouns among transgender and nonbinary young people.

“In its sixth edition, The Trevor Project’s U.S. National Survey illustrates a need to better support the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ+ young people, a group that we know consistently experiences higher rates of suicide compared to their peers,” said Dr. Ronita Nath (she/her), Vice President of Research at The Trevor Project. “As one of the largest and most diverse of its kind, this survey offers unique insights into the experiences of LGBTQ+ young people in the U.S. across intersecting identities such as race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and region. Once again, this year’s survey shows that considering or attempting suicide is not uncommon among LGBTQ+ young people. However, many of the contributing risk factors for suicide are preventable, and often rooted in victimizing behaviors of others. The results of this survey clearly identify a need for adults and allies to create more affirming environments for LGBTQ+ young people, and better support them in being their true selves.”

Overall, 39% of LGBTQ+ young people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year — including 46% of transgender and nonbinary young people, and more than one in ten (12%) of all LGBTQ+ youth attempted suicide in the past year. LGBTQ+ youth of color reported higher rates than their White peers. Yet despite these mental health challenges, 50% of LGBTQ+ young people who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it.

Similar to previous surveys, anti-LGBTQ+ victimization was strongly associated with suicide risk – adding to the long-established reality that LGBTQ+ young people are not inherently prone to suicide risk, but rather, placed at a higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized by others. 90% of LGBTQ+ young people said their well-being was negatively impacted due to recent politics, and nearly half (45%) of transgender and nonbinary young people reported that they or their family have considered moving to a different state because of LGBTQ-related politics and laws. Nearly half (49%) of LGBTQ+ young people ages 13-17 experienced bullying in the past year, and those who did reported significantly higher rates of attempting suicide in the past year.

“Much of our efforts to address the public health crisis of suicide among LGBTQ+ young people are made that much harder by the ongoing wave of anti-LGBTQ+ policies pushed by extremist lawmakers across the country,” said Janson Wu (he/him), Senior Director of State Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “Ninety percent of LGBTQ+ young people said that recent politics negatively impacted their well-being, and nearly half of transgender and nonbinary youth reported they had considered moving to a different state due to the anti-LGBTQ+ politics occurring in their home state. With such striking numbers and families literally wanting to uproot their homes to seek safety, lawmakers must seriously reconsider the real and damaging impact that their anti-LGBTQ+ policies and rhetoric create. No ‘political victory’ should be worth risking the lives of young people.”  

Similar to previous surveys from The Trevor Project, these data underscore that access to affirming environments was associated with lower odds of suicide risk. LGBTQ+ young people who reported living in very accepting communities attempted suicide at less than half the rate of those who reported living in very unaccepting communities. Further, transgender and nonbinary young people who had access to gender-affirming clothing, gender-neutral bathrooms at school, and had their pronouns respected by the people they live with had lower rates of attempting suicide compared to those who did not.

To view the complete survey findings – including the methodology – visit https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2024.


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.

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