Aug 11, 2022 - Health

Exclusive: Multiracial LGBTQ youth more likely to consider suicide, report finds

Multiracial LGBTQ youth who <span style="background:#553693; padding:3px 5px;color:white;">attempted</span> or <span style="background:#9b7aa6; padding:3px 5px;color:white">seriously considered</span> suicide in the past year
Data: The Trevor Project; Chart: Nicki Camberg/Axios

Nearly half of multiracial LGBTQ youths "seriously considered" suicide in 2021, according to a new report from The Trevor Project provided to Axios.

Why it matters: Over 40 million LGBTQ young people seriously consider suicide each year, according to rough estimates from the group, and the report examines the "unique convergence of stressors experienced by holding a multiracial identity and an LGBTQ identity."

  • The report is "the first of its kind," per The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth under 25.

The big picture: Over 300 anti-LGBTQ laws have been introduced this year and at least 25 have passed. Medical experts say the rancor surrounding such policies can weigh heavily on LGBTQ youths' mental health.

By the numbers: 48% of multiracial LGBTQ young people reported "seriously considering" suicide last year, compared to 44% of LGBTQ youth of only one race.

  • 17% of multiracial young people said they attempted suicide in 2021, compared to 14% of young people of only one race.
  • 63% of multiracial youth also reported self-harm, compared to 56% of young people of only one race.

Zoom in: 52% of non-white Multiracial LGBTQ young people "seriously considered" and 21% attempted suicide. In contrast, 47% who are white and another race "seriously considered" suicide, and 16% attempted it.

Other numbers: 77% of multiracial LGBTQ youth have experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity at some point in their lives.

  • 35% have been physically threatened or harmed due to their sexual orientation.
  • 31% have experienced homelessness, been kicked out or run away.

Between the lines: 60% of multiracial LGBTQ young people who wanted mental health care say they did not receive it.

  • Reasons include fear of expressing their concerns with someone else (53%), reluctance to get a parent or caregiver's permission (46%), fear of not being taken seriously (45%), not being able to afford care (42%) and concern the care would not work (36%).

What they're saying: "These findings shine a light on the unique mental health outcomes and suicide risk of young people living with the distinctive identities of being multiracial and LGBTQ," Myeshia Price, director of research science at The Trevor Project, said in a statement.

  • The report points to the need to invest in mental health services and prevention programs attuned to the nuances of how multiracial LGBTQ youths navigate and experience the world, she said.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 — or text message or call 988.

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