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Study finds link between housing instability and suicide risk with LGBTQ youth

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NEW YORK — A study released by The Trevor Project on Thursday found that LGBTQ youth who experienced housing instability reported considering suicide at twice the rate and attempted suicide at more than three times the rate of LGBTQ youth who had not.

The study found that, overall, 25% of LGBTQ youth in their sample reported experiencing unstable housing at some point in their life. LGBTQ youth who experienced housing instability were on average younger, transgender/non-binary, Hispanic or a racial minority, and from families with low income. They also reported higher rates of discrimination and physical threats or harm related to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Even after controlling for the impact of related variables, the influence of housing instability on LGBTQ youth’s experiences with suicidal ideation, attempts and multiple attempts remained significant.

LGBTQ youth are more likely to experience housing instability or homelessness at a much higher rate than hetero and cisgender youth. An independent study found that 1 in 3 youth using our crisis services had experienced homelessness, particularly among those who disclosed their LGBTQ identity to a parent or experienced parental rejection.

The Trevor Project said that organizations serving youth who are homeless should be LGBTQ inclusive and affirming and be equipped to provide and discuss LGBTQ-competent suicide prevention.

Chart courtesy of The Trevor Project

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