Editor’s Note: The Trevor Project, which runs the only nationwide, around-the-clock suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, gathered the statistics below. If you or someone you know needs help from The Trevor Project, call their helpline at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) or visit their website at http://www.thetrevorproject.org]
-In America, more than 32,000 people commit suicide each year (2005 Center for Disease Control).
-Suicide is one of the top three causes of death among 15 to 24-year-olds; only accidents and homicide occur more frequently (2006 National Adolescent Health Information).
– Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college campuses (2008 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
– For every completed suicide by a young person, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made
(2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey).
– Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Massachusetts 2006 Youth Risk Survey).
-Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth who come from a rejecting family are up to nine times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (2007 San Francisco State University Chavez Center Institute).
Suicide Warning Signs
-A tendency toward isolation and social withdrawal
-Increasing substance abuse
-Expression of negative attitude toward self
-Expression of helplessness or hopelessness
-Loss of interest in usual sorts of pleasure
-Giving away valued possessions
-Expression of a lack of future orientation (i.e. “It won’t matter soon anyway”).
A person who has been extremely depressed in the past may be at an increased risk for suicide if the depression begins to cease, as they may now have the psychological energy to follow through on a suicidal ideation.
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