LGBTQ youth who have access to LGBTQ-affirming schools and supportive teachers report lower rates of attempting suicide.
February 6, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, voiced its opposition to SB134, a bill introduced in the Missouri General Assembly that would prohibit teachers, school counselors, and faculty from discussing LGBTQ identity or any related issues with a student unless that person is a licensed mental health provider and has received prior permission from the student’s parent or guardian. The bill will be considered by the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee on Tuesday at 8:15 a.m. CT.
“Our schools should be safe, inclusive learning environments for all students. This extreme bill would prevent LGBTQ students from reaching out to school professionals for help or support, and ban any discussion of their history, culture, and experiences in the classroom,” said Kasey Suffredini (he/him pronouns), Vice President of Advocacy & Government Affairs. “Nearly half of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year and fewer than 4 in 10 identified their home as an affirming space. With this tragic reality, it is vital that LGBTQ students can confide in teachers and guidance counselors at school, and feel represented and respected in the place where they spend most of their waking hours.”
The Trevor Project is working closely with PROMO Missouri and encouraging Missourians to contact their state legislator here.
Research & Polling:
- The Trevor Project’s research has consistently found that LGBTQ students who have access to LGBTQ-affirming schools — and trans and nonbinary students who have support from their teachers and peers — report lower rates of attempting suicide.
- Additionally, learning about LGBTQ people or issues has been associated with significantly lower odds (23%) of a past-year suicide attempt in LGBTQ students.
- According to a new poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of The Trevor Project, 71% of LGBTQ youth — including 86% of trans and nonbinary youth — say state laws restricting the rights of LGBTQ young people have negatively impacted their mental health. 58% of LGBTQ youth, including 71% of transgender and nonbinary youth, feel angry about new policies that ban teachers from discussing LGBTQ topics in the classroom. Among trans youth, 59% feel sad and 41% feel stressed.