The first of its kind in Utah, the release of the 2020 Utah LBGTQ+ Suicide Prevention Plan will guide suicide prevention efforts to support those at higher-risk and save lives.
Due to social exclusion and other factors, LGBTQ+ people are at greater risk for suicide compared to non-LGBTQ+ people, with increased risk for transgender people. Through input from state and private agencies, the plan draws from the Utah State Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan to tailor goals and objectives to the specific needs of LGBTQ+ people.
Nationally, LGB adults are twice as likely to attempt suicide compared to heterosexual adults, and for transgender adults, the lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts is 40%. Ray Bailey, the co-chair of the LGBTQ+ work group for the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition, stated that “Stigma, discrimination, and lack of acceptance are drivers of the higher rates of mental health problems in LGBTQ communities.”
Utahns are increasingly paying attention to LGBTQ+ suicide risk, and ensuring positive mental health through targeted prevention, treatment and recovery supports. Utah administers multiple health related surveys to adults and youth (with active parental consent), and in 2019, for the first time, gender identity and sexual orientation were added to the survey, allowing us to understand suicide risk for young LGBTQ+ Utahns.
“Supportive environments at home and school help LGBTQ youth thrive,” Bailey said. “We hope this plan will strengthen the interventions, policies and structures necessary to prevent and reduce the impact of suicide for all LGBTQ+ Utahns. We all play a role in suicide prevention and we invite you to help us reduce the risk of suicide for our LGBTQ+ family and friends.”
2020 Utah LBGTQ+ Suicide Prevention Report: 2020 Utah LBGTQ+ Suicide Prevention Plan.
2019 SHARP results- Statewide report link: https://dsamh.utah.gov/