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Monday, February 2, 2009

SPRC: GLBT Youth Research

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) has released Suicide risk and prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Written by SPRC staff and reviewed by experts in sexual and gender minority issues, suicide, and suicide prevention, and by youth, this publication addresses the special concerns related to suicide prevention among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Research conducted by experts in mental health, suicide prevention, and other fields shows that a higher proportion of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth consider and attempt suicide compared to their heterosexual peers. Based on the higher rate of suicide attempts among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth and the relative seriousness of these attempts, the authors of this report postulate that it is likely these youth experience higher rates of suicide deaths than non-LGB youth. Less research about transgender youth is available, but these youth generally share risk factors associated with suicidal behavior (such as victimization, depression and substance abuse) with their LGB peers.

Suicide risk and prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth draws on research from the past ten years to summarize the current state of knowledge about suicidality in LGBT youth, and outlines twenty-one recommendations for helping to reduce suicidal behavior in this group. These recommendations are appropriate for agencies, organizations, and individuals such as school staff, health and social service providers, suicide prevention programs, and researchers, as well as funders and organizations serving LGBT youth. Recommendations are in the following areas:
• lowering risk specific to or disparately affecting LGBT youth
• improving provider recognition of youth at risk
• increasing outreach and access to services
• increasing coping and protective factors among these youth
The paper, coauthored by Effie Malley, Marc Posner, and Lloyd Potter, includes a resource appendix and an extensive bibliography. The paper may be downloaded from the SPRC site at http://www.sprc.org/library/SPRC_LGBT_Youth.pdf

SPRC provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist states, tribal nations, organizations, and individuals to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions, and policies. Supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), SPRC is operated by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), in Newton, Massachusetts.

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