1Center or American Progress | How to Improve Mental Health Care or LGBT Youth
How to Improve Mental HealthCare for LGBT Youth
Recommendations for the Department of Healthand Human Services
Carlos Maza and Jeff Krehely December 2010
Te recen repored suicides o gay eens including Asher Brown (13), Seh Walsh(13), Billy Lucas (15), and yler Clemeni (18) have sparked a naional debaeover he problem o bullying and harassmen direced a lesbian, gay, bisexual, andransgender youh. A 2009 survey o middle and high school sudens ound ha85 percen o LGB eens experienced being verbally harassed a school becauseo heir sexual orienaion. Nearly wo-hirds experienced being harassed becauseo heir gender expression.
Bullying is one o several acors ha pu immense srain on LGB eens’ menalhealh. Fear o rejecion rom amily members, ani-LGB messages heard inplaces o worship and in he media, and he chronic sress associaed wih havinga sigmaized and oen hidden ideniy all serve o exacerbae he menal healhproblems aecing LGB youh in America.
Research has demonsraed he connecion beween ani-LGB messages andacions, and a young person’s menal healh. Sudies have esablished a clear link beween a amily’s rejecion or accepance o an LGB young adul and haperson’s long-erm menal and physical healh.
LGB youh as a whole are sig-nicanly more likely han heir non-LGB counerpars o experience depression,anxiey, suicidal houghs, and subsance abuse.
Research has demonsraed hagay and lesbian youh are signicanly more likely han heerosexuals o atempo commi suicide—up o 40 percen more likely, according o some repors.
Anda recen survey ound ha 41 percen o ransgender and gender-nonconormingrespondens in he Unied Saes repor having atemped suicide a some poin inheir lives, compared o 2 percen o he general populaion.