Oladimeji Ajegbile

HealthRace

BLACK LGBTQ+ YOUTH MORE LIKELY TO ATTEMPT SUICIDE, LESS LIKELY TO GET HELP

February 21, 2020
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Despite the fact that people who are both LGTBQ+ and Black are at a disproportionately higher risk of developing mental health issues, we are less likely than others to have access to adequate health care. According to the data from the inaugural National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health conducted last year by the Trevor Project, a gay and queer advocacy organization, discrimination and bigotry have serious negative effects on their own, and these experiences are only exacerbated for minorities with intersecting identities. Particularly when it comes to homophobia and transphobia. According to Myeshia Price-Feeney, a research scientist for the Trevor Project, counseling and mental health care is just not as accessible to a majority of Black youth, like it is for their white counterparts.

“Traditionally youth suicide has been really thought of as a white youth problem, or a Native American youth problem,” she said. “The attention has not been there for other youth of color. We all need to better understand the needs of Black LGBTQ youth.”

Another troubling fact revealed in the study is that amongst those young people who have seriously considered suicide, only 50 percent of Black LGBTQ+ youth have reported seeing a counselor for help, compared to the 60 percent of non-Black LGBTQ+ youth.

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