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Pride Part 1 – The State of Mental Health in LGBTQ+ Youth  

Introduction:

June is Pride Month in the United States. Pride is an annual commemoration of the historic Stonewall Riots in New York City. Pride promotes awareness, reflection, activism, and celebration for LGBTQ+ identifying people and allies.

In 2021, the CDC surveyed more than 17,000 students in 152 high schools across the United States. 1 out of 4 high school students identified as LGBTQ+. As caring adults, it is imperative to understand the current landscape of LGBTQ+ youth experience in order to provide support and protection to these youth in community spaces.

The Statistics:

The state of mental health among LBGTQ+ young people is very serious. They note a rise in suicidal thoughts in behaviors in youth, and suggest that an overwhelming number of queer youth desire mental healthcare but are unable to access it.

The Trevor Project’s U.S. National Survey annually provides a snapshot into the experiences and mental health of LGBTQ+ adolescents. This year, the Trevor Project surveyed over 18,000 LGBTQ+ young people ages 13 to 24 across the United States.

Listed below is a snapshot of what the findings indicate:

  • More than 1 in 10 LGBTQ+ young people attempted suicide in the past year.
  • 39% of LBGTQ+ young people report seriously considering attempting suicide in the past year. This includes 46% of transgender and nonbinary young people.
  • Half of LBGTQ+ young people who reported wanting mental health care in the past year were unable to access it.
  • 90% of LGBTQ+ youth said their well-being was being negatively impacted by recent politics.
  • More than half of trans and nonbinary young people said their school was gender-affirming. Those youth also reported lower rates of attempting suicide.
  • 49% of LGBTQ+ youth ages 13-17 experienced bullying in the past year — which was associated with higher rates of attempting suicide in the past year than those who did not experience bullying.
  • 66% of LGBTQ+ young people reported experiencing recent symptoms of anxiety. 53% reported experiencing recent symptoms of depression.
  • Among all LGBTQ+ youth, 84% wanted mental health care.
  • Additionally, in GLSEN’s annual National School Climate Survey, 59% of LGBTQ+ students reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation.


Analysis:

The mental health of LGBTQ+ youth is in a state of crisis. Queer and trans young people struggle with anxiety, depression, bullying, suicidal thoughts and behaviors because of unaccepting individuals, environments, and inaccessible social systems.

It is the responsibility of caring adults to create safe and inclusive spaces for all youth where they can grow and thrive. Doing so requires a fundamental understanding of the issues LGBTQ+ youth face.


Want more information on how to support all youth through openness and communication? Check out our blogs here. Interested in becoming a youth life coach? Here’s the link to our accredited training opportunities.

Change the lives of youth. Starting today.