US: Dedicated transgender suicide hotline launched
A San Francisco group has launched a dedicated suicide hotline for transgender people.
The Trans Lifeline – the first project of its kind – is staffed by San Francisco area volunteers, and aims to tackle the alarmingly high rate of suicide among people who are trans.
The line, which is available across the US and Canada, aims to help people struggling with their gender identity who may not feel comfortable calling a regular suicide hotline – and is staffed by people who fully understand the trans experience.
Trans activist Greta Gustava Martela, who founded the project, told GLAAD: “According to the most recent and comprehensive statistics available, 41% of trans people attempt suicide at least once in their lives, and the figures go up to 50% if their trans status is known or disclosed. We’d like to get that number to zero. Our community needs every one of our members.”
“There are a ton of suicide hotlines. There’s no shortage of them.
“But it’s really difficult to get a person who isn’t trans to understand what it’s like to be trans.”
The website states: “This line is primarily for transgender people experiencing a crisis.
“This includes people who may be struggling with their gender identity and are not sure that they are transgender.
“While our goal is to prevent self harm, we welcome the call of any transgender person in need. We will do our very best to connect them with services that can help them meet that need.
“If you are not sure whether you should call or not, then please call.
“Our hotline is staffed by the true experts on transgender experience, transgender people themselves.
“Our volunteers are all trans identified and educated in the range of difficulties transgender people experience. Our volunteers are dedicated to improving the lives of transgender people.”
If you are a transgender person in crisis, you can call the Trans Lifeline on 877-565-8860.
In the UK, you can speak to the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.