The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has estimated that between 30% and 40% of GLBT youth, depending on age and sex groups, have attempted suicide. A U.S. government report published in 1989 (Repot of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide) found that GLBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than other youtn. This higher prevalence of suicidal ideation and overall mental health problems among gay youth compared to their heterosexual peers has been attributed to the heterocentric and institutionalized homophobia that GLBT people face.
Depression and drug usage among GLBT people has been shown to increase significantly when there are changes in laws that result in discrimination against GLBT people. This can also result in an increase in suicide.
Helping professionals should be attentive to signs of suicide (as well as self-harm) in clients who are GLBT and should be prepared to initiate appropriate interventions in these situations to assist clients in addressing any thoughts about self-harm or suicide.