YRBS Trends Report Shows Overall Suicide Rate Drop, but LGBTQ Youth Remain at Heightened Risk
Statement from Dr. Amy Green (she/her pronouns), Director of Research at The Trevor Project:
“It is incredibly encouraging to see that the U.S. suicide rate dropped last year for the first time in more than a decade. However, we still see disparities in suicidality across sexual identity among high school students. Almost a quarter of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students reported a suicide attempt in the past year — nearly four times the rate of their heterosexual peers.
“Furthermore, it is alarming to see higher — and rising — rates of suicidal thoughts, plans, attempts, and serious injuries among Black youth. And this new data reaffirms The Trevor Project’s recent report on Black LGBTQ youth mental health, which found that 17% of Black LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 attempted suicide in the past year, including more than one in four of Black transgender and nonbinary youth. It is clear that youth who hold marginalized identities, like those who are Black and/or LGBTQ, are particularly susceptible to poor mental health outcomes and suicidality, and deserve increased attention from prevention and response programs.
“Despite this mixed bag of findings, the very existence of extensive data on Sexual Minority Youth is extremely helpful, given persistent gaps in LGBTQ-inclusive data collection on the national level. Although the YRBS trends report is not yet able to examine suicide risk among transgender youth, a group that has been found to be two times more likely to report seriously considering suicide and attempting suicide compared to their cisgender peers in the LGBTQ community, we look forward to the release of their 2019 data on transgender students.”
For more information on the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Data Summary & Trends Report: 2009–2019, please see the full report.
The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that 40% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, with more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth having seriously considered it.
ABOUT THE TREVOR PROJECT
The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention 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 TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, 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. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.
The Trevor Project