Conversion therapy and suicidality

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Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the U.S. among those age 10-34 and the 10th leading cause of death overall.

According to the CDC, high school students identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual are 3 times more likely to have seriously considered suicide, more than 3 times as likely to have made a suicide plan, and 4 times more likely to have attempted suicide, as compared to their heterosexual peers.

Sexual minorities, like LGBTQ youth, experience distinct, chronic stressors, including victimization, prejudice, and discrimination, in addition to everyday or universal stressors experienced by other youth. Sexual minority stressors create a hostile and stressful social environment that disproportionately compromise LGBTQ youth's mental health and well-being.

In June 2018, The Trevor Project released the results of a national survey on LGBTQ youth mental health, including the following results for the prior 12-month period for those taking the survey:

39% of respondents seriously considered attempting suicide

More than half of transgender and non-binary youth have seriously considered attempting suicide

Over 18% of respondents attempted suicide

29% of transgender and non-binary youth respondents have attempted suicide

The charts below come from the survey and show the impact of conversion therapy - attempts to change sexual orientation or gender identity - on LGBTQ youth suicidality.

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Paloma Schultz