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Sexual minority teens and all teens who get harassed because someone thinks they are gay are at increased risk of self-harm. They are at least twice as likely as their peers to seriously consider suicide, to make specific suicide plans, to attempt suicide and to say they have made at least one attempt in the past year that required treatment by a health care professional. And suicide prevention efforts have rarely spoken to the issue of harassment at all, no less anti-gay harassment. We haven’t begun to teach children or teens how to recover their dignity when they are bullied or attacked in this way or where to reach out for support. It is time we changed that.
The Trevor Helpline - this national 24-hour free and confidential toll-free suicide prevention hotline is specifically aimed at gay or questioning youth, geared toward helping those in crisis or anyone wanting information on how to help someone in crisis. All calls are handled by trained counselors who are familiar with gay and questioning youth, and are . Phone: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386). http://www.thetrevorproject.org
"I'm Glad I Failed" - The Trevor Project, in conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Week (September 7-13), will launch a powerful new ad campaign "I'm Glad I Failed." This effort targets LGBTQ teens who contemplate suicide as a result of homophobia. The ads feature four young people with stories about how intolerance and harassment led them to attempt suicide, and how glad they are that those attempts failed because their lives have changed for the better. The Trevor Project needs your help to maximize exposure of their ads - here are examples of the ads which are on their site with more variations and information:
Suicidal Signs - from The Trevor Project, some of the warning signs. http://www.thetrevorproject.org/suicidal_signs.aspx
Don't Erase Your Queer Future - from The Trevor Project for LGBTQ youth about suicide. http://www.donteraseyourqueerfuture.org/
Heartbroken by recent suicides of OUR kids, Nhojj wrote this because he wanted to do something to help. It is a song of consolation and hope. Robert Allan Arno, Soul of the Voice, Ltd., calls "Things Will Get Better" the "ultimate, empowering lullaby of the tender heart."
This is Nhojj's offering to all those kids who are on the verge of losing life's most precious asset -- hope. It is for them.
"I wrote this song because I'd been hearing about our kids loosing hope, and at first I didn't know what to do. But thankfully I came across the It Gets Better campaign. Dan & Terry have this amazing idea to share our stories to help teens realize that it does get better. This is my story told the best way I know how -- through music.
Love & Light
Things Will Get Better by Nhojj ~ Lyrics: http://nhojj.bandcamp.com/track/things-will-get-better
After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools - Faced with students struggling to cope and a community struggling to respond, schools need reliable information, practical tools, and pragmatic guidance on what to do in the aftermath of a suicide. This toolkit for middle and high schools was developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (a project of Education Development Center, Inc.). It was created in consultation with national experts, resulting in a highly practical resource for schools facing real-time crises. The toolkit includes general guidelines for action, templates, and sample materials, and covers topics such as crisis response, helping students cope, working with the community, memorialization, social media, and bringing in outside help. http://www.sprc.org/AfteraSuicideforSchools.asp
Befrienders International - not specific to LGBTQ people, this site contains details of local suicide support services in over 40 countries and is translated into seven languages. http://www.befrienders.org/
Bill's Story - portrait of a son's suicide by Safe Schools Coalition's webspinner, Gabi Clayton. Bill committed suicide when he was seventeen years old in 1995, a month after he was assaulted in a hate crime based on his sexual orientation. http://www.youth-guard.org/gabi/Bills_Story.html
Listen to: "Intro to Gabi's Song" (1:32) and "Will It Always Be Like This" (4:30)
by Steve Schalchlin - on Beyond The Light (2002) http://www.bonusround.com/
This is also posted on our Music on the Safe Schools Coalition Website resource page.
Darkness Calls - this comic book, inspired, written and illustrated by Steve Sanderson, a professional Aboriginal (native Canadian) youth cartoonist, is a great resource on suicide prevention for youth, visual learners and hard to reach populations. It’s the story of a teenager that feels socially isolated and has difficulty at school. Even though Kyle has tremendous artistic talent and the support of a good friend he finds one day just too overwhelming and considers taking his own life. It’s the story of the struggle between good and evil over the spirits of youth. The story was previewed with health professionals and youth focus groups for authentic characters and language. From the Healthy Aboriginal Network, 328 E 32nd Ave, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5V 2Y4; 604-876-0243. Website: http://www.thehealthyaboriginal.net/
Depression - this article Ashlee, a YouthResource peer educator talks about when feeling sad or hopeless "is more than just a temporary mood change" and what to do about it. It offers other youths' stories and poems and a ton of great toll-free hotlines and web sites. http://www.youthresource.com/health/lives/depression.htm
Face The Issue - offers sobering, straightforward web animation with celebrity narration regarding anorexia/bulimia, depression, alcohol/other drugs, abuse, and self-esteem. http://www.facetheissue.com/
GayData.org - created by Randall L. Sell, Sc.D.; Drexel University, School of Public Health; Philadelphia, PA for individuals and organizations who want to find information about lesbians, gays and bisexuals grounded in scientific knowledge, who want to find datasets to analyze that include sexual orientation data, and who want to learn how to collect sexual orientation data. Itâ‚¬â„¢s also a clearinghouse of sorts of research that is inclusive of GLB identity-with a section of mental health thatâ‚¬â„¢s inclusive of issues with suicide. http://www.gaydata.org/
Responses to Suicide
If you are thinking of committing suicide... read this first - by Martha Ainsworth, inspired by the work of David Conroy, Ph.D.; on Metanoia, working to break down barriers that keep people from getting the help they need. Through communications, education and advocacy. http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/
Marcus Wayman Campaign - Marcus Wayman was eighteen years old in 1997 when he committed suicide after police found condoms in his pocket and concluded he was gay. Small town police (Minersville, PA) threatened to out him to the community and family members. Marcus, hours later, took a revolver and shot himself in the head. In November 2001a jury in Allentown acquitted the police from any wrongdoing. More information: http://www.marcuswayman.org/
The Relationship Between Youth Involvement in Bullying and Suicide
Edited by Marci F. Hertz
The Journal of Adolescent Health - Volume 53, Issue 1, Supplement, Pages A1-A10, S1-S54 (July 2013)
Inclusive Anti-bullying Policies and Reduced Risk of Suicide Attempts in Lesbian and Gay Youth
Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, Ph.D.and Katherine M. Keyes, Ph.D.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1054139X12003540 and pdf
Sexual Orientation and Youth Suicide - by Gary Remafedi, MD, MPH, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, from the Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol. 282, pp. 1291-1292, October 6, 1999). Online here.
Study: Tolerance Can Lower Gay Kids' Suicide Risk. - NPR story about groundbreaking research on the family dynamics, across several cultures, that contribute to gay young people's well-being. Go to: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98782569
Suicide among Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Youth - a report by Heather E. Murphy. http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/SuicideamongGLByouth.html Also available in pdf format.
Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth - Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) has released Suicide risk and prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Written by SPRC staff and reviewed by experts in sexual and gender minority issues, suicide, and suicide prevention, and by youth, this publication addresses the special concerns related to suicide prevention among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. This paper paper outlines recommendations for helping to reduce suicidal behavior among LGBT youth, and includes a resource appendix and an extensive bibliography. This new paper may be downloaded from the SPRC site at http://www.sprc.org/library/SPRC_LGBT_Youth.pdf (pdf format)
Suicide Prevention Week is in September.
Read about it here:
Supportive Families, Healthy Children -The Family Acceptance Project (FAP) at SF State University, under the direction of Dr. Caitlin Ryan, has been studying the impact of family acceptance and rejection on suicide risk among LGBT youth. Published findings from these studies point to the critical role of families in both contributing to and protecting against suicidal behavior and risk among LGBT young people. FAP’s multi-disciplinary team has been developing resources, interventions and strategies to help diverse families reduce risk and to promote their LGBT children’s well-being. The first of these resources – a multi-lingual, multi-cultural series of family education booklets – Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Families Support their LGBT Children – have been designated as the first “Best Practice” resources for suicide prevention for LGBT youth and young adults by the national Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention. They are available for download on the FAP website at: http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/publications. Printed copies are available for distribution from the Family Acceptance Project in orders of any size. Lower literacy and faith-based versions are in development. FAP provides on-site training on using these materials and FAP’s research-based supportive family intervention model and other resources and tools. Contact email@example.com to obtain printed versions and for information on consultation and training.
Talking About Suicide & LGBT Populations: Guidelines & Protocols - Safe public discussions about suicide can play a critical role in increasing acceptance of LGBT people and supporting their well-being, while minimizing the risk of a phenomenon known as suicide contagion. Talking About Suicide & LGBT Populations provides detailed recommendations for more safely discussing suicide in public conversations and social media, while at the same time expanding public conversations about the well-being of LGBT people, promoting the need for family support and acceptance, and encouraging help-seeking by LGBT people who may be contemplating suicide. http://www.lgbtmap.org/talking-about-suicide-and-lgbt-populations and the report in a PDF file (pdf format)
TEACH Ministries (To Educate About the Consequences of Homophobia) - Mary Lou and Bob Wallner lost their lesbian Christian daughter Anna to suicide in February of 1997. They now work to see the church accept and welcome GLBT people. http://www.teach-ministries.org/
Youth Suicide Prevention Program (YSPP) - envisions Washington as a state where youth suicide is a rare event, where young people are nurtured and supported, where individuals and families are aware of risk factors for suicide, and actively seek help from accessible, effective community resources. To that end, they focus on public awareness, training, and communities in action. Training is available that focuses on GLBTQ youth and the issues they face. These trainings are for service providers that want more information about suicide prevention and early intervention, more information on why GLBTQ youth are at an increased risk for suicide and self harm, and how they can best support these youth to increase their protective factors against suicide and self harm. Email: Heather@yspp.org; Address: 444 NE Ravenna Blvd., #401, Seattle, WA 98115; Phone: (206) 297-5922; Fax: (206) 297-0818; General email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.yspp.org/
Youth Suicide Prevention: Risk & Protective Factors - developed by Heather Carter, MA; GLBTQ Project Coordinator, Youth Suicide Prevention Program. Includes general risk & protective factors which apply to all youth, and factors that apply to particular groups of youth: GLBTQ youth, Native American youth, homeless youth, youth involved in juvenile justice, and youth in foster care. Also includes information on which studies/research the data was gathered from, and resources on the web. Published on the Safe Schools Coalition's website with permission. http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/YouthSuicidePreventionRisk&ProtectiveFactors.pdf (pdf file)
Youth Suicide Problems - Gay/Bisexual Male Focus - devoted to this single issue. http://www.youth-suicide.com/gay-bisexual/
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