Research Brief: LGBTQ Youth Suicide Prevention in Schools

August 2021

Article from the Trevor Project


“As a new academic year begins, LGBTQ students are preparing to enter into spaces that may or may not be affirming to their LGBTQ identities. Among LGBTQ middle and high school students, 59% felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, 37% because of their gender, and 42% because of their gender expression (GLSEN, 2020). Our previous findings show that LGBTQ youth in affirming schools had nearly 40% lower odds of attempting suicide compared to LGBTQ youth in non-affirming schools (The Trevor Project, 2020). One way schools can support LGBTQ youth is by including positive content about LGBTQ people and issues in classroom curriculums. Representation in school curriculums can affirm LGBTQ youth’s sexual and gender identities. In addition to creating affirming environments, schools can also prevent suicide by providing all staff and students with comprehensive suicide prevention training. Findings show that the majority of youth, including LGBTQ youth, share their thoughts of suicide with a peer (Michelmore & Hindley, 2012; The Trevor Project, 2019). Inclusion of suicide prevention may not only train young people to support their peers who are in crisis but may also be beneficial to their own well-being. Using data from The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, this brief explores the inclusion of LGBTQ people or issues and suicide prevention in middle and high school curriculums.”

Access the research brief here