September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) uses this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention. NAMI is here to help.
“Suicide is the second leading cause of death among U.S. teenagers, and members of the LGBTQ community are at great risk due to the impact of social stigma, family rejection, bullying, stigma, harassment and abuse,” states HRC as the organization recognized National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month on their Web site. “According to a 2016 study by the Center for Disease Control, 43 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students seriously considered suicide in the previous 12 months, compared to 15 percent of their heterosexual peers.
“Additionally, in 2014 the Williams Institute and American Foundation on Suicide Prevention reported that 41 percent of transgender and gender non-conforming adults had attempted suicide. For those who had suffered discrimination, rejection, or violence because of their gender identity, the rate was even higher–in some cases reaching 78 percent.
“Discrimination, at any level of society, can endanger lives. The Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth, reported a sharp increase in calls to their suicide hotline soon after Trump’s transgender military ban tweets and the introduction of anti-transgender legislation in Texas. Amit Paley, Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director, noted that “this data makes clear that our elected officials can no longer ignore that their anti-transgender rhetoric is putting lives at risk,” and pointed to how discriminatory language by our politicians can lead to “crisis” in LGBTQ communities.