We mourn death, but do little to prevent it.
A study conducted from December 2019 through March 2020 found that out of 40,000 surveyed, 40% of U.S. LGBTQ youth considered suicide over the past year (2019), “while the figure climbs to more than 50% for transgender and non-binary youth surveyed”.
Let’s really ponder some of the elements of that information shall we?
- This stat is from less than 2 years ago in the ‘progressive’ & free nation of the US
- This is pre-pandemic, before the extra weight of uncertainty, self-reflection, isolation, depression, and anxiety kicked in. It was also before the added stressor of being locked in our homes with people who we may or may not feel safe with
- This is regarding youth. Do you remember how hard your adolescent years were? Probably even without the added anxiety of questioning your gender identity and/or sexuality?
- Youth are dependent on the provision of family or others. Without the support or resources, they face this traumatic time alone
What alarms me most is how outdated this information has quickly become because of the pandemic. Even with a supportive and peaceful home life, many youth, especially LGBTQ, depend on their non-familial relationships to navigate what can be a really tough season of life. If they’re fortunate enough to see a medical or mental health professional, even those resources have changed. Tele-health appointments were the best we could do, but even with those, the option of privacy is essentially out the window.
The survey also shares this statistic from the Trevor Project‘s findings: Among all people aged 10 to 24, suicide is the second-leading cause of death.
I’m not sure I’d have any push back in stating that suicide is no joke. However, because it’s a choice, it is preventable.
This is a call to action. First and foremost, we have to do something now! Second, this a group project and it isn’t the kind where one or two members get to slack off. This isn’t an effort to improve lives, but to save them.