This week, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and U.S. Surgeon General released the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, which details multiple goals for reducing suicide and identifies particular groups that may face a higher-than-average suicide rate, including the LGBT community. The strategy says that “institutional discrimination” caused by laws and policies that deny benefits and protections to LGBT people is increasingly recognized as a key risk factor.
This is a highly detailed national strategy to address the alarming trend of suicide among LGBT people. The strategy makes particular note of the rate of suicide among gay, lesbian and bisexual youth, reporting that LGB-youth were three times more likely to report a lifetime suicide attempt than straight youth, and four times more likely to make a medically serious attempt. Among the factors that the strategy has found to reduce suicides among LGBT youth are family acceptance and access to adequate mental health treatment. Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius praised the strategy and announced that the Department of Health & Human Services would provide $55.6 million in new grants for suicide prevention efforts. These funds were made available the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act and partially funded by the Affordable Care Act.
President Obama has consistently stood up to bullying and discrimination against the LGBT community. This strategy and the associated funding represent the administration’s latest act of support in its commitment to ending discrimination towards LGBT Americans. Stand with the President by committing to vote.