Compared to heterosexual youths, the suicide rate in LGBTQ adolescents is greater. One analysis (JAMA Pediatrics, 2018) compiled data from 35 previous studies involving 10 countries and nearly 2.4 million heterosexual youth and 113,468 LGBT youth, ages 12 to 20 years of age. The results indicated that LGBT youth were 3.5 to 5.87 times more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to attempt suicide.
Additionally, the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, revealed that 40 percent of high school students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning (unsure of their orientation) have seriously considered suicide.
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened concerns over the risk of suicide in LGBTQ adolescents for a number of reasons:
It is imperative that health care practitioners connect at-risk youth to behavioral health services, including telemedicine therapy. CDPHP has providers who specialize in treating LGBTQ youth and offer telehealth services. Please call the CDPHP Behavioral Health Access Center at 1-888-320-9584 if you need assistance with a referral.