Happy Pride Month! While Pride is a time to celebrate with colorful parades, it’s important to remember that being an ally to the community means more than the parties. We know that there are higher rates of anxiety and depression within the LGBTQ+ community. We, as prevention professionals, look at the data and find ways to make a positive impact.
45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. Nearly 1 in 5 transgender and nonbinary youth attempted suicide.* When looking at the data alone, it can be quite discouraging. What can we do to try and reduce stigma and prevent suicide? According to the same survey, LGBTQ youth who live in a community that is accepting of LGBTQ people reported significantly lower rates of attempting suicide than those who do not.* The best way that we can support LGBTQ+ youth is to create spaces that show they are safe and accepted.
Here at Envision Partnerships, we ensure that our in-school programming is welcoming and inclusive so that we can provide all the prevention supports possible to the LGBTQ+ youth in our schools. We also have a task force to reduce LGBTQ+ suicide within the Butler County Suicide Prevention Coalition. The task force seeks to reduce stigma and provide opportunities for LGBTQ+ folks and allies to access suicide prevention information and trainings.
EP was happy to be at Hamilton Pride making bead bracelets, applying temporary tattoos, and giving out lots of prevention information. The Suicide Prevention Coalition supplied folks with safety plans, QPR Suicide Prevention training information, as well as answering lots of questions. Pride is so important because of its complexity. We cannot forget our past – our LGBTQ+ siblings lost to HIV/AIDS, our legal battles for equality, and the fight for acceptance – but we can choose to celebrate the progress made. To be an ally is to reckon with the difficult and take the challenge head-on. To love harder. To show your neighbors that you care. It is important that we not only show up for the parties but that we show up for the work, to help ensure LGBTQ+ youth have the opportunity to become adults.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Butler County Suicide Prevention Coalition, including the LGBTQ+ task force, contact Kristen Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health