Alarming Increase in Suicide Risk among Trans Teens

Suicide is a pressing public health concern, particularly among teenagers. Recent studies have highlighted the elevated risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) teens compared to their heterosexual peers. However, limited research has focused specifically on the risks experienced by transgender individuals. A groundbreaking study conducted by the University of Ottawa sheds light on this issue, revealing a significant increase in suicide risk among transgender and nonbinary teens in Canada.

The Study and Statistics

In a population-based study analyzing data from the 2019 Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth, researchers found that transgender and nonbinary teens faced a substantially higher risk of both suicidal thoughts and attempts compared to cisgender, heterosexual peers. The statistics are alarming: transgender teens were five times more likely to experience suicidal ideation, while their risk of attempting suicide was a staggering 7.6 times higher. These findings highlight a critical and urgent need for targeted interventions and support systems for gender and sexual minority youth.

Supporting Studies

Several studies provide evidence of the heightened risk of suicide among transgender individuals. A comprehensive analysis of self-reported suicide behavior among adolescents revealed that nearly 25% to 30% of transgender teens have attempted suicide during their lifetime. Disturbingly, the same study found that over 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year. Furthermore, rates of suicide attempts were particularly high among LGBTQ youth of color, with Native/Indigenous LGBTQ youth reporting a shocking 21% suicide attempt rate.

The Role of Bullying and Cyberbullying

While bullying and cyberbullying have been identified as contributing factors to the increased risk of suicide among gender and sexual minority youth, it is crucial to recognize that these factors alone do not fully explain the heightened risk. Additional factors, such as feeling supported at home, in school, and in communities, play significant roles in shaping mental health outcomes. Comprehensive suicide prevention efforts must encompass a wide range of support systems to effectively address the complex needs of gender and sexual minority youth.

Suicide Prevention Measures

The findings from these studies emphasize the urgent need for enhanced support and prevention measures for gender and sexual minority youth. It is crucial to create safe spaces where these individuals can freely explore and express their identities. In designing suicide prevention programs, it is essential to consult and involve gender and sexual minority youth, as they possess invaluable insights into their own experiences and needs. Furthermore, efforts should be made to understand the intersectionality of gender and sexual identity with other forms of marginalization to tailor interventions accordingly.

Seeking Help and Support

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, immediate help is available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, reachable at 1-800-273-8255, offers 24/7 support. Crisis Text Line, accessible by texting “START” to 741741, provides confidential assistance. It is vital to reach out to trained crisis counselors who can offer guidance and support during times of crisis.


Ann Marie Moore obituary 1944-2023

Ann is a lifelong member of St. John Lutheran Church in Fairfield, and a member and past president of AORN (Association of periOperative Registered Nurses).

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