The LGBTQ+ Community and Suicide

Written by Taylor Harling

June is very important to the LGBTQ+ community because it has been deemed Pride Month in honor of the Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan in 1969. Millions of people take to the streets nationwide each June to celebrate Pride and recall a time when LGBTQ+ individuals were seen as unequal. Though we have come a long way since the days surrounding the Stonewall Uprising, many in the community still struggle to gain acceptance and support for their sexuality.

This lack of support takes a serious toll on the mental health of LGBTQ+ individuals. LGBTQ+ youth are over four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers. According to The Trevor Project, at least one LGBTQ+ youth (13-24) attempts suicide every 45 seconds. Often it is assumed that the mental health struggles of these youth are due to their sexuality. This is a harmful misunderstanding. Most of these young people attribute their decreased mental health to the stress that comes with discrimination toward the LGBTQ+ community. Stressors come in the form of parental rejection, housing instability, workplace discrimination, and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the nation.

Often, youth that internally identifies as LGBTQ+ choose to hide their sexuality until adulthood, as they do not feel safe publicly displaying their sexuality before that. Shame and identity crises form in these young individuals who feel unable to be their true self. The lack of a “safe place” or affirming outlet is detrimental to LGBTQ+ youth and their mental health.

The staggering rate of suicide in LGBTQ+ youth can be reversed. The Jason Foundation provides a course titled Supporting LGBT Students in Schools: Suicide Prevention Among LGBT Youth. This training takes a deeper look at how suicide affects the LGBTQ+ community as a whole and stresses the importance of ensuring schools are a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ youth. This training, and all others provided by The Jason Foundation, are free of charge and can be found at under the Training tab. Having the knowledge gained from these resources may help you save a life and help to decrease the rate of youth suicides across the country.

Facts About LGBTQ Youth Suicide | The Trevor Project
About  |  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month  |  Library of Congress (
Professional Development Training Modules | The Jason Foundation, Inc.

Taylor Harling
Division Director
The Jason Foundation, Inc.
18 Volunteer Drive
Hendersonville, TN 37075