Research shows that the LGBTQ+ community is almost three times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition such as major depression or generalized anxiety disorder. And, LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide, experience suicidal thoughts or engage in self-harm than heterosexual and cis-gendered people. This is not due to their sexual orientation or gender identity but oftentimes from outside factors such as a non-affirming home environment, a volatile political climate, and the lack of freedom and space to be true to who they are.
Today, In honor and celebration of June being Pride Month, we’re talking to Dr. Amy Green, the Vice President of Research at The Trevor Project (an organization providing crisis intervention and prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth) to talk about how LGBTQ+ youth are disproportionately impacted by things suicide and other mental health challenges and how we, as allies and supporters, can help change those numbers. And in the second half of the episode, host Chad Moses sits down with Jessica Strait, a frequent author on the TWLOHA blog, to hear about her lived experience as a queer woman who grew up in a religious family, has dealt with multiple mental health challenges, and is in the midst of an ongoing journey toward self-acceptance.
Dr. Amy Green and her team support the organization’s work by using data and research findings to advance its crisis services and peer support programs, as well as advocacy and education initiatives. Under Dr. Green’s leadership, the research team produces innovative research that brings new clinical implications to the field of suicidology and LGBTQ mental health. Amy lives in Los Angeles with her wife, who is also a clinical psychologist working in suicide prevention, and their two dogs.
Jess Strait is a long-time TWLOHA supporter and a frequent author on our blog. She is a queer woman who currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her partner of 16 years and their three kids. It wasn’t until 2014, that Jess and her now-wife shared their relationship publicly and got married the year after same-sex marriage became legal in the US. A former healthcare worker, Jess has dealt with a myriad of mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse.
“LGBTQ+ youth who report having at least one accepting adult in their life, who accepts them with their LGBTQ identity, were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt.”
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