Talking about Suicide and LGBT Populations
In the past few years we’ve seen more awareness in our community about suicide and LGBT populations, especially LGBT Youth. Studies like the Youth Risk Behavior Survey -when LGBT data is collected by some states at the local level – have consistently shown that LGBT Youth are at higher risk for ‘suicidal ideation’ (suicidal thoughts). This is largely due to minority stress which is the stress your experience from living in a world that is often hostile and discriminatory to LGBT people; and all the little and big things you have to cope with living in that world.
This is an important issue to talk about, of course, but how we talk about it matters greatly. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that suicide is in part, contagious. People who are considering suicide are already at risk, of course, but publicity about suicides can be a trigger.
There are definitely things to avoid. This includes discussing the details of the method used in a suicide death, and idealizing suicide victims.
To learn more, read this thoughtful report from the Center for American Progress.