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Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255

LGBTQ young people are more than twice as likely to feel suicidal, and over four times as likely to attempt suicide, compared to heterosexual youth (Kann 2016); the rates may be especially high for bisexual teens (Marshal 2011). According to one study, a third of transgender youth have seriously considered suicide, and one in five has made a suicide attempt (Reisner 2015). Basic issues like restroom access have a profound effect on transgender youth well-being. For instance, one study showed that transgender students denied access to genderappropriate facilities on their college campuses were 45 percent more likely to try to take their own lives (Seelman 2016).

LGBTQ adults are more likely than others to have mental health or substance use problems. In 2015, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that one in three LGBQ adults experienced mental illness in 2015, compared with only one in five heterosexual adults (Medley 2016). According to the National Center for Transgender Equality’s U.S. Transgender Survey, 40 percent of transgender adults reported serious psychological distress in the month before they took the survey, dramatically higher than the five percent of the US population who say the same (James 2016).


Even among adults with mental illness, LGBQ adults may experience more serious symptoms. Among LGBQ adults living with mental illness, thirteen percent had a serious mental illness that substantially interfered with major life activities. The same was true for only four percent of heterosexual adults living with mental illness (Medley 2016). According to the U.S. Transgender Survey, 40 percent of transgender adults have attempted suicide during their lifetime, compared to less than five percent of the US population as a whole (James 2016). • The NSDUH found that 15 percent of LGBQ adults had an alcohol or drug use disorder in the past year, compared to eight percent of heterosexual adults (Medley 2016).

Montana has been at the top of the suicide charts for the last four decades.


Because of stigma and discrimination, LGBTQ youth are more likely than non-LGBTQ youth to struggle with their mental health. • Transgender youth are far more likely than their non-transgender peers to experience depression — nearly four times the risk, according to one study (Reisner 2015).


Similarly, LGBTQ teens experience significantly more depression symptoms than their heterosexual peers (Marshal 2011). In a 2016-2017 survey from HRC, 28 percent of LGBTQ youth — including 40 percent of transgender youth — said they felt depressed most or all of the time during the previous 30 days, compared to only 12 percent of non-LGBTQ youth (HRC Foundation 2017). According to the CDC’s 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 60 percent of LGBQ youth reported being so sad or hopeless they stopped doing some of their usual activities (Kann 2016). 

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