The Trevor Project’s 2022 Survey finds a concerning trend that LGBTQ+ youth mental health is negatively impacted by anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.
In 2022, there were more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ laws introduced in the United States, easily smashing the record set the previous year. The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health captured the experiences of nearly 34,000 individuals between the ages of 13-24 across the U.S. The data provides critical insight into the unique suicide risk and barriers facing LGBTQ+ youth. The truth is LGBTQ+ youth face stressors simply for being who they are that their peers never have to worry about.
We highly recommend checking out the whole study because this is extensive with many findings of great interest. Some key findings look at discrimination, mental health, and suicide risk. The Trevor Project found that 73% of LGBTQ youth reported that they have experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Unsurprisingly, this has a direct effect on their well-being. Last year, 60% of LGBTQ youth who wanted mental health care were not able to get it. With limited access to care, 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth (53%) and 1 in 3 cisgender youth (33%). We are seeing an alarming rise in anxiety, depression, and consideration of suicide among all LGBTQ+ youth.
It’s not all doom though, LGBTQ+ youth who live in a community that is accepting of them reported significantly lower rates of attempting suicide than those who do not. This is why we must work to defend the rights of all LGBTQ+ individuals, especially those who aren’t represented in their government. On all sides, we want to protect our young and make sure they can live in their communities. The research shows that to save lives from suicide, we have to make sure queer people aren’t legislated out of their existence. In Michigan, Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act is currently trying to be expanded to include protection for LGBTQ+ individuals. Sign the petition to expand essential civil rights to LGBTQ+ Michiganders here: https://act.myngp.com/Forms/1251319703265086976
LGBTQ+ youth are not inherently prone to suicide risk because of their sexual orientation or gender identity but rather placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society. It’s so important that we continue to support those in need during this onslaught of legislation and hate. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing discrimination, mental health crisis, or needs assistance, Equality Michigan advocates can help. If you’re interested in supporting our work in our community, check out: equalitymi.org/donate/