A pair of reports courtesy of the Trevor Project shine a light on the importance of a supportive adult voice in the lives of LGBTQ youth: just having at least one accepting adult in their lives reduced the chance of a suicide attempt by an LGBTQ youth by 40 percent.
While past studies have focused on the importance of parents who accept their LGBTQ children, this new report goes farther, finding out that any supportive adult can make a difference.
A total of 34,808 youth took part in the survey, with 25,896 included in the final sample. Of these, 20,202 had disclosed their orientation to their patents, a different family member, a teacher or guidance counselor, or a doctor or healthcare provider.
A follow-up asked how much they were accepted by those they had disclosed their sexual or gender orientation to. This was then compared to these same subject’s suicide attempts or suicidal ideation in the past year.
Just over 27% reported who did not have a supportive adult in their live reported an attempted suicide in the last year, compared to just 17% among those who did have adult acceptance.
This support is important, too: the Trevor Project also found that over 1.8 million LGBTQ people ages 13-24 considered suicide each year. Most of those — 1.2 million — are just between the ages of 13-18.
According to the Trevor Project, suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst young people, and LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to consider, plan for, and attempt suicide than their non-LGBTQ peers.
The project points to minority stress — that is, stressors faced by members of minority groups — as a leading cause for the high suicide rate. They recommend more research into ways adults can effectively reach out and help LGBTQ youth to lessen the effects of minority stress.