Preventing suicide in LGBTQ communities
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
The social stigma, prejudice, and discrimination associated with minoritized sexual orientation contribute to elevated rates of suicidality and poorer mental health found in LGBTQ people. This includes institutional discrimination resulting from laws and public policies that create inequities or fail to provide protections against sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination.
AFSP supports efforts at the federal and state levels that reduce the likelihood of LGBTQ youth suicidality and promote wellbeing by increasing acceptance and affirmation of LGBTQ identities, reducing anti-LGBTQ stigma and prejudice, and increasing access to LGBTQ-affirming physical and mental health care.
Guided by established policy priorities, AFSP engages in legislative advocacy activities that implement initiatives to routinely and systemically collect SOGI mortality data to inform LGBTQ suicide prevention strategies; protect LGBTQ youth from the harmful effects of conversion therapy by prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in the fraudulent practice; prevent discriminatory policies in schools that prohibit discussion/instruction on LGBTQ issues; and block non-scientific restrictions on access to appropriate, supportive, gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary youth.
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.