Youth mental health and suicide rates

An April 2022 reportTrusted Source from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — the Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey — shows that 44% of teens in the United States feel persistently sad and hopeless, an increase from 37% in 2019. In addition, research from 2022Trusted Source shows that the overall teen suicide rate had increased during the pandemic within the 14 states that were studied, although in certain states, it did decrease.

Another CDC reportTrusted Source shows that while the overall suicide rate in the U.S. decreased in 2020 for the second consecutive year, the decline was not universal.

Suicide rates increased among youth and young adults, Black and Hispanic males, and multi-racial females during the pandemic. And data from the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth, suggests that suicidal ideation among LGBTQ youth has trended upward over the past 3 years.

The impact on LGBTQIA+ youth

The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Mental Health shows that nearly half of all LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year. Transgender and nonbinary youth and LGBTQ Youth of Color were more likely to attempt suicide than their LGBTQ cisgender or white peers.

The survey indicates that LGBTQ youth who experienced anti-LGBTQ victimization — being physically threatened or harmed, discriminated against, or subjected to conversion therapy — were twice as likely to attempt suicide in the past year compared to those who did not have these experiences.

And prior research from the Trevor Project shows

that LGBTQ youth are more than 4 times as likely to attempt suicide compared to their peers.

Preston Mitchum, director of Advocacy and Government Affairs at the Trevor Project, told Healthline that LGBTQ young people are not inherently prone to suicide risk but are placed at higher risk because of how they’re mistreated and stigmatized in society.

“Bullying, discrimination, family rejection, lack of social support, and conversion ‘therapy’ attempts — these are all common risk factors that are unique to LGBTQ youth and can contribute to negative mental health outcomes,” Mitchum said.