LGBTQ+ Suicide and Suicide Risk
AFSP began a broad initiative in 2007 to increase knowledge about suicide and suicide risk in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning/queer (LGBTQ+) persons, and take steps to reduce that risk.
Funded by the Johnson Family Foundation, the LGBT Knowledge to Prevention Initiative, which was launched from a Consensus Conference co-sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, seeks to stimulate a national LGBTQ+ suicide prevention effort by bringing together leading LGBTQ+ and national suicide prevention organizations. The Consensus Conference summarized and discussed research findings and made recommendations for closing knowledge gaps to reduce suicidal behavior in LGBTQ+ people. See 2010 Findings▲ Back to Top
Talking About Suicide and LGBTQ+ Populations
Talking About Suicide and LGBT Populations (the guide is also available in Spanish) provides the media and LGBTQ+ organizations with detailed recommendations for discussing LGBTQ+ suicide safely and accurately. The guide informs the public conversation about LGBTQ+ wellness and encourages those who are at risk for suicide to seek help.
This resource was developed by a coalition that included AFSP, the Johnson Family Foundation, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and a group of leading LGBTQ+ organizations. The new 2nd edition includes the following additional organizations as partners:
- Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
- Human Rights Campaign
- National LGBTQ Task Force
- Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays
- The Trevor Project
- Transgender Law Center
- Center for American Progress
- Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders (SAGE)
Addressing LGBTQ+ Suicide in the National Strategies for Suicide Prevention
Working in conjunction with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Task Force on LGBTQ+ Populations, AFSP spearheaded the effort to have LGBTQ+ populations identified among other at-risk populations in the 2012 revision of the U.S. National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The country measures the success of its National Strategy by decreases in suicide rates among the population groups identified as at risk. Currently, however, we are unable to determine LGBTQ+ suicide rates since sexual orientation and gender identity are not identified in the standard death certificate.▲ Back to Top
Stronger Communities: LGBTQ+ Suicide Prevention
Regional AFSP Education Conferences
Since 2011, AFSP chapters across the country have been hosting regional conferences to provide training for mental health professionals & community leaders on LGBTQ+ suicide risk and prevention. These one-day events feature nationally recognized, innovative researchers and highlight local resources and programs working to prevent suicide at the community level.
Featured experts and topics at our 2017 conference series included:
Questions of Life and Death: Seeking Answers about Suicide Deaths Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People
John A. Blosnich, Ph.D.
Innovation in the Suicide Prevention Research-Practice Partnership to Serve LGBTQ Youth
David W. Bond, LCSW, BCETS
Suicide Risk and Prevention Among Transgender People
Jody L. Herman, Ph.D.
Minority Stress and Suicide Risk: What We Know and What We Need to Know
Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D.
Understanding and Preventing Suicide in LGBT Communities
Stephen T. Russell, Ph.D.
The Critical Role of Family Support in Preventing Suicide and Promoting Well-Being for LGBT Youth
Caitlin Ryan, Ph.D., ACSW
LGBTQ+ Research and Advocacy
AFSP encourages new research on LGBTQ+ suicide and suicide risk and the identification of sexual orientation and gender identity in AFSP research grants and funded studies. We advocate for federal and state anti-bullying and school safety legislation, and wider identification of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal health and mental health surveys.▲ Back to Top
Talk Saves LivesTM: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention in the LGBT Community
Talk Saves Lives is a community-based presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide. Attendees will learn the risk and warning signs of suicide, and how together, we can help prevent it. A special program module is available with additional information on suicide prevention in the LGBT community.▲ Back to Top