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New research on Transgender Day of Remembrance reveals that three in ten young trans people have attempted suicide

Lily Wakefield November 20, 2019
trans teen trans kids youth worker

(Anatoliy Cherkasov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

Three in ten young trans and non-binary people have attempted suicide, and more than half have considered it, according to numbers released on Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The Trevor Project, an organisation that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to young LGBT+ people, conducted the National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, which it says is the largest LGBT+ youth mental health survey ever produced.

The organisation asked 25,896 LGBT+ people between the ages of 13 and 24 about their mental health, and included youth of more than 100 sexual orientations and more than 100 gender identities from all 50 US states.

29 per cent of trans and non-binary youth had attempted suicide, compared with 14 percent of cisgender LGB young people. According to the Youth Risk Behaviour Survey, in 2017 5.4 percent of heterosexual youth had attempted suicide.

Conversion therapy or attempts to change a young person’s gender identity or orientation increased the chances of a suicide attempt for LGBT+ youth. According to The Trevor Project, 57 per cent of transgender and non-binary youth who had undergone conversion therapy reported a suicide attempt in the last year.

The research also showed that the way young LGBT+ people reach out for help is mostly digital. 76 per cent of respondents said they would be likely to reach out by chat/instant message or text message in a crisis, compared to 43 per cent who would be likely to reach out with a phone call.

According to Forbes, director of research for The Trevor Project Dr Amy E Green said: “Transgender and non-binary youth may face a range of unique stressors associated with their adolescent development as well as increased experiences of internalised stigma, discrimination, and rejection from others.

“No one factor causes an individual to attempt suicide, but the cumulative effect of these stressors can be detrimental to one’s mental wellness and increase the risk for suicidal ideation.”

Transgender Day of Remembrance is held on November 20 every year in honour of trans people who have been killed.

3,317 trans and non-binary people have been recorded as murdered around the world since 2008, but the already shocking number is likely to be much higher due to insufficient data in many countries.

If you are struggling with your mental health and are based in the US, you can contact The Trevor Project Lifeline for free on 1-866-488-7386 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

In the UK, you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or call the LGBT Foundation helpline on 0345 3 30 30 30 (open Monday to Friday between 10am and 6pm).

More: mental health, suicide, trans youth, transgender day of remembrance, trevor project

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