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Preventing suicide in LGBTQ communities

AFSP is focused on sharing and expanding suicide prevention strategies, programs, research initiatives, and public policies to prevent suicide in LGBTQ communities and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQ people.

Facts and research about LGBTQ mental health and suicide risk

AFSP encourages research on suicide, suicide risk, and suicide prevention in the LGBTQ community. Survey data suggest that individuals who identify as LGBT are at greater risk for suicide attempts. Confirmation and a better understanding of this increased suicidal ideation and behavior is needed across a wider range of samples and using a wider range of data collection methods.

Discover facts about mental health and suicide risk for LGBTQ people, learn more about LGBTQ mental health, and access resources highlighting research findings on the critical link between family rejecting and accepting behaviors with risk and well-being for LGBTQ youth.

Advocating for LGBTQ communities

AFSP promotes public policies at the federal and state levels to improve mental health and reduce suicide risk for individuals in the LGBTQ community.

Supporting bans on conversion therapy is one of AFSP’s top Public Policy Priorities.  AFSP Field Advocates engage in advocacy efforts across the U.S. to protect LGBTQ youth from the harmful effects of conversion therapy, or sexual orientation change efforts. We stand with the research, clinical expertise, and expert consensus of every major professional health organization that conversion therapy is inappropriate, harmful, and increases negative mental health outcomes and risk for suicide.

AFSP has proudly joined several organizations in supporting and promoting The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign, which urges lawmakers in all 50 states to introduce legislation to prohibit the practice of conversion therapy with minors.  See our detailed issue brief here for a full list of states that have enacted bans on conversion therapy and to learn more about how you can get involved.

At the federal level, AFSP actively works to promote policies to prevent LGBTQ suicide, including integrating LGBTQ populations into existing data collection tools on suicide mortality and risk behavior.

LGBTQ mental health and suicide prevention education

Talk Saves Lives™: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention – LGBTQ

Talk Saves Lives™ is a 60-minute education presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do in their communities to save lives. The Talk Saves Lives™ - LGBTQ discusses the many stressors that LGBTQ people face, and how these contribute to a higher suicide attempt rate among this population. It also covers protective factors that can help lower the suicide rate and what communities can do to support LGBTQ people. Learn more and to find an upcoming Talk Saves Lives™ presentation.

Stronger Communities: LGBTQ Suicide Prevention

Stronger Communities: LGBTQ Suicide Prevention is a full-day conference hosted by a local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The goal of each conference is to raise awareness about LGBTQ suicide risk, bring research findings to the attention of professionals and the public, and explore strategies for LGBTQ suicide prevention in local communities. The agenda includes plenary and breakout sessions that feature national and local experts on LGBTQ mental health and suicide risk and will be focused on making mental health, suicide prevention, and education an LGBTQ community priority. Learn more about conference speakers and topics, or search conference listings.

Talking about Suicide & LGBT Populations

Talking About Suicide and LGBT Populations provides the media and LGBT organizations with detailed recommendations for discussing LGBT suicide safely and accurately. The guide informs the public conversation about LGBT wellness and encourages those who are at risk for suicide to seek help. The guide is also available in Spanish.

Connection makes a difference

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