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Anti-LGBTQ legislation taking a toll on LGBTQ youth, survey finds

The annual survey found the mental health of LGBTQ youth has worsened because of proposed anti-LGBTQ legislation in some states.

WASHINGTON — More than 40% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, according to a new survey

The findings from the Trevor Project, a leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, also found the record number of anti-LGBTQ policies that have been proposed across the country over the past year has negatively impacted the mental health of LGBTQ youth.  

The fifth annual survey found 41% of LGBTQ young people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including half of transgender and nonbinary young people. That's down only slightly from last year's results, which found 45% of LGBTQ youth had seriously considered suicide at the time. 

The survey also found that nearly a third of LGBTQ young people said their mental health was poor "most of the time or always" due to anti-LGBTQ policies and legislation. 

The ACLU is currently tracking nearly 470 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 16 states, most with Republican-controlled Legislatures. Texas, Missouri and Tennessee alone account for more than 125 such bills; Florida has ten, according to the Associated Press

"Among transgender and nonbinary young people, half seriously considered suicide, and one in five attempted suicide in the past year. This is a public health crisis — and it's preventable," said Kasey Suffredini, Vice President of Advocacy & Government Affairs for The Trevor Project.

According to the findings, LGBTQ youth who had access to affirming homes, schools and online spaces reported lower rates of attempting suicide compared to those who did not. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 any time of day or night or chat online. The Trevor Project also has trained crisis counselors available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Get-Help, or by texting START to 678678.

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