New research shows that 9% of young gay Serbian men are currently thinking about suicide and 4% have developed a suicide plan. These figures have been released by Jelena Srdanović Maraš, a doctor of medical psychology.
The research by EurActiv also shows that 63% of young gay men in Serbia have talked about suicidal thoughts, compared to 23.9% of straight people.
Milan Djurić, coordinator of Serbia’s LGBT SOS helpline, says that calls from people on the verge of suicide are “very frequent”.
He says: “these are people who do not see a way out of a problem situation; they have no alternative, no solution”.
“If they don’t have an exit strategy, in terms of leaving the country and emigrating, and a lot of people have thought or fantasized about this – they don’t see a way out, don’t have a solution”.
Although there are no laws against homosexuality in Serbia, LGBT people face much discrimination in a country where attitudes to gay people are largely negative.
The Serbian government has cancelled pride marches in the country for three years running after Belgrade’s 2010 pride event ended in violence, with 150 injured after 20,000 people held a counter-protest.