The Trevor Project Responds: CDC Report Shows Increased Suicide Rates Lower U.S. Life Expectancy

The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, responded to the CDC’s “Suicide Mortality in the United States, 1999–2017” report. Released today, the study is one in a series of three government reports and shows a drop in US life expectancy.

“Today’s CDC report highlights the significant increase in suicide rates over time, proving that it is a continued public health crisis. For 10 years suicide has been the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., but we know that young people, specifically LGBTQ youth, are particularly impacted. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for all young people. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and nearly half of all transgender people have attempted suicide — many before the age of 25.

It’s now more important than ever to provide dedicated resources, in-depth research, legislation, and access to healthcare and education that supports LGBTQ youth and their wellness. The Trevor Project will continue fighting to save LGBTQ young lives, and will always be here for them to make sure they know that their life has value, and that they are loved and never alone.”
—Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director, The Trevor Project

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, contact The Trevor Project’s TrevorLifeline 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. Counseling is also available via chat from 3-10 p.m. EST every day at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting 678-678 from Monday-Friday, 3-10 p.m. EST.


Report: Protecting LGBTQ Youth Through Inclusive School Suicide Prevention Policies in California

School policies are an important part of suicide prevention, especially because of the amount of time young people spend at school. Released today, The Trevor Project’s new report shows that implementing legislation like California Assembly Bill 2246, which requires schools serving grades 7–12 to establish student suicide prevention policies, dramatically increases the number of policies that address the needs of high-risk populations including LGBTQ youth.

After reading hundreds of school suicide prevention policies from all across the state, The Trevor Project’s researchers found that only 3% of policies implemented before passage of AB 2246 in 2016 included LGBTQ youth, compared to more than 90% of those written afterwards. Today, 25% of California’s school suicide prevention policies still do not address LGBTQ students.

It is vital that all California policies be updated to comply with AB 2246, because studies show that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and nearly half of all trans people have made a suicide attempt — many before the age of 25. A third of all lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are bullied at school, and almost half of them seriously consider attempting suicide, almost 4 times more likely than their straight peers.


The Trevor Project Reviews California Schools’ Suicide Prevention Policies

The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, released a report about California Department of Education schools’ compliance with AB 2246, which requires schools serving grades 7–12 to establish student suicide prevention policies.

The organization contacted all 478 school districts and local education agencies in California which serve youth in grades 7–12. After multiple attempts at contact, 86% of the school districts were found to have a student suicide prevention policy. 70% of the school districts without a suicide prevention policy were rural, defined as more than 40 miles from a major city; and 80% of school districts without a suicide prevention policy were smaller than average.

School policies are an important part of suicide prevention, especially because of the amount of time young people spend at school. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and nearly half of all trans people have made a suicide attempt. 1/3 of all lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are bullied at school, and almost half of them seriously consider attempting suicide, almost 4 times more likely than their straight peers.

Read the full report.


Over Half of LGBTQ Youth in New National Survey Have Been Diagnosed With Eating Disorders

NEW YORK CITY — Feb. 28, 2018

****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****

A new national survey of LGBTQ youth found that a majority of those surveyed have been diagnosed with an eating disorder. Even more shocking, half of the LGBTQ youth surveyed who have not been diagnosed suspect they have an eating disorder.

The disturbing results were part of a new national survey, designed to better understand how LGBTQ youth are affected by eating disorders, and was conducted by The Trevor Project, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)  and Reasons Eating Disorder Center. The results were released in conjunction with National Eating Disorders Association Awareness Week, held this year between Feb. 26 and March 4 with the theme “Let’s Get Real.”

The results illustrate the need for increased support for this community. Of the LGBTQ youth surveyed, 54% of the participants indicated that they had already been diagnosed with an eating disorder. Of those diagnosed with an eating disorder, 58% have considered suicide.

“We were stunned by these results,” said Amit Paley, The Trevor Project’s CEO and Executive Director. “We need to do far more to help the alarming number of LGBTQ youth living with eating disorders and struggling with thoughts of suicide. We are grateful to partner with NEDA and Reasons Eating Disorder Center to shed light on this public health crisis and help save more LGBTQ lives.”

“We are honored to partner with the Trevor Project on this critical survey,” said Claire Mysko, CEO of NEDA. “The results make it clear that troubling numbers of LGBTQ youth are affected by eating disorders and self-harm. Together, we are working to raise awareness and put live-saving resources into the hands of those in need. It’s time to get real about these issues and ensure that everyone has access to the support they deserve.”

The first-of-its-kind survey includes a sample of 1,305 self-identified LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24 from across the country. The report shows:

  • 54% of LGBTQ youth respondents reported having been diagnosed with an eating disorder compared to 5% of the heterosexual peers.
  • Trans youth who identify as straight are the most at risk, with 71% of those having been diagnosed with an eating disorder, anorexia being the most common.
  • There is a dangerous overlap in the consideration of suicide and eating disorders, with 58% of LGBTQ youth respondents who have been diagnosed with an eating disorder having considered suicide.

Stigma and stereotypes, especially amongst LGBTQ youth, make this a hard issue for some to talk about and seek help for. The goal of NEDAwareness Week 2018 is to bust myths, elevate marginalized voices, and reach those in need with appropriate support and resources.

Read the full results on The Trevor Project website here: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/eating-disorders-among-lgbtq-youth/

Learn more about NEDAwareness Week: www.NEDAwareness.org

ABOUT THE TREVOR PROJECT

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25. The Trevor Project offers a suite of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as a peer-to-peer social network support for LGBTQ young people under the age of 25, TrevorSpace. Trevor also offers an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, a legislative advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and conducts research to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our Trevor Lifeline crisis counselors are available 24/7/365 at 1-866-488-7386. www.TheTrevorProject.org

ABOUT THE NATIONAL EATING DISORDERS ASSOCIATION

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in New York City, is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders.

For more information or to chat with a trained volunteer, visit www.MyNEDA.org

Or contact NEDA’s Live Helpline @ 800-931-2237
Monday–Thursday, 9am–9pm (EST) / Friday, 9am–5pm (EST)
In a crisis? Text NEDA to 741741; 24 hours a day/seven days a week

ABOUT REASONS EATING DISORDER CENTER

Reasons Eating Disorder Center, located in Los Angeles, California, offers eating disorder treatment programs for adolescents and adults who suffer from Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge-Eating, ARFID, and other related forms of disordered eating. We offer inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs for the treatment of eating disorders. We are a gender inclusive treatment program.

CONTACTS

Calvin Stowell – [email protected]

Greenleaf & Associates — 323-660-5800

Vicki Greenleaf — [email protected]

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Learn more at: www.nedawareness.org

Follow #NEDAwareness

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/NationalEatingDisordersAssociation

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/NEDAstaff

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/neda


Alarming Rise in Death by Suicide Among 10-14 Year Old Youth

Data released in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Report shows that the rate of death by suicide among adolescents, 10 – 14 years old, has been on the rise and is now higher than that of death by motor vehicles.  In 2009 approximately 1 youth per 100,000 died by suicide, compared to 2014 when approximately 2 youth per 100,000 took their own lives.

At the Trevor Project, the nation’s only accredited suicide prevention program for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth under 25, we hear from youth every day about the struggles they are facing.  According to the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) report, we know that LGB young people in 9th to 12th grade attempt suicide at a rate more than four times that of their heterosexual peers.  While reliable national statistics for LGB youth in the 10 – 14 year old range do not exist, we know from the daily crisis calls, chats, and texts we receive that they too are at risk for suicidal ideation, particularly during this critical time in their identity development.

Of note, the rate of death by motor vehicles has dropped significantly over the same period that the rate of death by suicide has increased, among 10 – 14 year olds. The success in combatting motor vehicle deaths is attributable to a comprehensive approach including infrastructure improvements, policy and system change, partnerships, education and awareness, along with a major investment of over $576 million by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration funded in grants to promote motor vehicle safety and the U.S. If similar comprehensive, multifaceted national suicide prevention efforts were implemented and brought to scale, as outlined in the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, this country would have the potential to reverse the trend in suicide mortality.

“At The Trevor Project we are very disturbed to know that suicide is rising among the youth of this nation.  We receive calls from youth as young as 9 years old who are looking for support as they struggle with their sexual and gender identity,” said Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project.  “It is imperative that more resources need to go toward preventing suicide in this country.  It is unconscionable that significant dollars are not allocated when we know that suicide can be prevented.  We call upon our national, state and local leaders to take action immediately.”

While incredibly informative about prevalence, the report does not include information on the causes of these trends.  There are certainly many contributing factors to consider, but is it also very important to note what can be done to foster resilience and safety for LGBTQ and other youth.  Families, schools, and communities must come together to reduce the risk for youth suicide by creating safe, connected environments that foster resiliency, non-violent problem solving skills, and coping skills.  In particular, the public can take part in improving the lives of young people who report being LGBTQ by showing them that we all care about their mental health:

  • Connect youth to Trevor’s crisis services.  We save young lives 24/7 through the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386.  TrevorChat.org is available 3-9 pm Eastern Time daily, and youth can text TrevorText by sending the message START to 678678 Thursday – Friday 4-8pm Eastern Time. Young people can also find friends on our online safe supportive community TrevorSpace.org as well as resources at our Support Center.
  • Create classrooms of peers who are better equipped to help through acceptance and support with Lifeguard, Trevor’s free online suicide prevention and crisis intervention education program for middle and high school students.
  • Advocate for the adoption of comprehensive, inclusive suicide prevention policies in school districts around the country and encourage the use of our Model School Policy which can help school districts draft suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention policies based on their specific needs.

Help create a bright future for LGBTQ and all youth by showing that you truly care and that they can thrive, they matter, and they deserve support.  More resources are available at www.thetrevorproject.org.  The Trevor Project is a partner of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the public-private partnership advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and championing suicide prevention as a national priority.