In a 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health conducted by The Trevor Project, a non-profit committed to suicide prevention among the LGBTQ+ youth, revealed that 2 in 5 LGBTQ+ youth have "seriously considered" suicide in the past year.
The survey collected information from 40,000 LGBTQ+ people between the ages of 13 and 24 about their mental health within the last year.
Amongst the respondents, 68% reported symptoms of anxiety disorder and 55% reported symptoms of major depressive disorder. The survery indicated that 48% reported engaging in self-harm and 40% "seriously considered" attempting suicide. 15% of the respondents attempted suicide.
"Our physicians, pediatricians, and mental health providers need to be screening youth," Amy Green, the director of research at The Trevor Project urged.
Many youth are not getting screened and the "strongest barrier to receiving mental health care" was affordability.
"If we take a step back and look at minority stress model, that says that experiences of rejection, discrimination and victimization are the primary causal mechanisms that cause that ideation," Green shared.
"We once again see the devastating mental health consequences of our failures," Dr. Jack Turban responded to the results of the survey in an email.
Dr. Jack Turban refers to "our failures" as society's lag in creating a "safer and more affirming environment for LGBTQ youth."
"We can't underestimate the broad adverse health effects caused by societal discrimination against LGBTQ people, and youth in particular," he said.
"Things like rejection from family and conversion therapy lead to a range of adverse mental health problems by telling these young people that something they can't change about themselves makes them 'bad' or 'wrong.'"
Amy Green advises to let the youth express their identity and one's "simple act of acceptance" can be "incredibly powerful" for the LGBTQ+ youth who are suffering from mental illnesses.