Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Recommendations for Preventing Teen Suicide

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has just published a study entitled Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth. The study carefully details the compounding reasons why lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth have higher rates of suicide and attempted suicide. And while the information is critically important, the conclusions are ones PFLAGers know very well. Indeed, they can be summed up in three words --support, education and advocacy – the PFLAG mission.

The study explores the role the internet, social environments, family connectedness - and other risk factors, including HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, depression, and homelessness - have on LGBT youth.

And most importantly, the study contains detailed recommendations of how to reduce the risks for LGBT youth.

PFLAG and our chapters are mentioned a number of times in the study as the antidote. The support we provide in our chapters; the advocacy we do in coalitions on suicide prevention (making sure that the message is reflective of our community and LGBT youth in particular); and the education we do in schools to make sure there is strong policy, good resources and programs that make LGBT students visible and safe in their schools were all cited as recommendations for suicide prevention.

Take a look at the study and remember that the work all of you at PFLAG do really does protect our childrens’ future.

- Suzanne Greenfield