New research indicates teen suicide rates are up 87 percent over the last decade, with LGBTQ teens being the most at risk for suicide attempts. Researcher at Trust for America’s Health Rhea Farberman says the sudden spike warrants attention to the issue.

“The last year for which we have data, which was 2016 to 2017, almost 3,000 young people died by suicide.  This is a tragic number and something we really need to focus on,” said Farberman.

Farberman says the data finds 48 percent of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents report considering or attempting suicide.

“Certainly an alarmingly high number.  That compares to 13 percent of heterosexual teens who think report either think about or attempting suicide,” said Farberman.

The research suggests the rise is due to the stressers and pressures in a teen’s life. LGBTQ teens often experience discrimination, they experience bullying, and in some cases, violence and family rejection. Farberman says there is a need for programs and policy aimed at enabling teens with coping and emotional skills.

“We’re not going to be able to reduce all trauma, but we’ll reduce what we can through programs and then build protective factors in teenagers by teaching them coping skills and resilience,” said Farberman.

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