The Trevor Project Releases New Research Report Focused on Black LGBTQ Youth Mental Health

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Black LGBTQ youth’s identification with multiple marginalized identities make them more susceptible to victimization and negative mental health outcomes

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To improve Black LGBTQ youth mental health and well-being, we need more research, investment, and intersectional solutions that confront systemic barriers head-on.

Today, The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, released a new research report that examines mental health indicators and suicide risk factors among Black LGBTQ youth, including negative interactions with law enforcement, conversion therapy, housing instability, food insecurity, and barriers to mental health care.

Both LGBTQ youth and Black youth report higher rates of poor mental health due to chronic stress stemming from the marginalized social status they have in U.S. society. The intersection of identities for Black LGBTQ youth make them particularly susceptible to increased victimization and mental health concerns. However, despite the existence of these unique challenges, very little research has quantitatively explored outcomes specific to Black LGBTQ youth. “All Black Lives Matter: The Mental Health of Black LGBTQ Youth” utilizes an intersectional lens to better understand the Black LGBTQ youth experience among a national sample of over 2,500 Black LGBTQ youth by highlighting and building upon many of the findings released from The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health as they relate to Black LGBTQ youth.

Key findings include:
-44% of Black LGBTQ youth reported seriously considering suicide in the past 12 months, including 59% of Black transgender and nonbinary youth and half of all Black LGBTQ youth ages 13-17 years old.
-60% of Black LGBTQ youth who wanted mental health care were not able to get it, with more than half citing affordability as the reason they weren't able to get it.
-Black LGBTQ youth who were involved with police victimization due to their sexual orientation or gender identity reported rates of suicide attempts (32%) that were nearly double that of youth who were not (17%).
-Black LGBTQ youth who had high levels of family support had nearly 3 times lower rates of suicide attempts in the past 12 months. However, less than 1 in 3 Black LGBTQ youth actually reported having high levels of family support.

“Black LGBTQ youth hold multiple marginalized identities, and with that, comes unique stressors and challenges that may make them more susceptible to poor mental health outcomes,” said Myeshia Price-Feeney, Ph.D., a Research Scientist at The Trevor Project. “To improve Black LGBTQ youth mental health and well-being, we need more research, investment, and intersectional solutions that confront systemic barriers head-on. The Trevor Project hopes this report will serve as a call to action for researchers, youth-serving organizations, and policymakers to approach their work through the dual lenses of LGBTQ inclusion and anti-racism.”

The report in its entirety can be found here. Visit TheTrevorProject.org/Resources for resources supporting LGBTQ youth and mental health, including Black and LGBTQ: Approaching Intersectional Conversations and Supporting Black LGBTQ Youth Mental Health.

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START
to 678678.

About The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide.

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Rob Todaro
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