World Suicide Prevention Day
On Monday September 10th, coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day, the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention has included a two-page appendix on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) populations to their report, which is intended to outline ways to identify at-risk individuals and methods of reducing suicides over the next decade. Lauren Jow of Advocate.com discusses how the representation of the LGBT population in the 2012 revision is especially significant because it expands on the 2001 strategy’s limited comments on the LGBT community and the unique struggle they community faces as a minority group. Additionally, the strategy identifies the LGBT population as a “group with increased suicide risk,” a potential result of the discrimination individuals have faced from community and family members, and their consequential emotional stress.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, proponents of complete equality and pro-LGBT legislation in this nation, reported in their National Transgender Discrimination Survey that 51 percent of LGBT individuals who were rejected by their families have attempted suicide. However, we can hope to reduce this number to 32 percent, but only if families become more accepting of their LGBT relatives.
In response to World Suicide Prevention Day, Rob Watson, an LGBT activist and blogger for the Huffington Post, wrote an honest account about his personal connection to the day , from the perspective of a victim of bullying during his teenage years as a suppressed member of the LGBT community. Watson emphasizes the importance of this day by remembering a 15-year old boy named William Lucas, a victim of bullying who committed suicide recently.
Although this is National Suicide Prevention Week, I encourage you to remember this issue in the weeks and months to come and engage in the methods of limiting incidences of suicide amongst our LGBT friends and family, as discussed in the revised 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.