Survey provides new insight into mental health of LGBTQ youth community

Survey provides new insight into mental health of LGBTQ youth community
(Source: Associated Press)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new nationwide study is providing new insight into the challenges that LGBTQ youth face every day.

"We know that for young people who identify as LGBTQ, the data is staggering,” said Doctor Lindsay Pate, Youth Villages clinical services.

The study by the Trevor Project surveyed more than 34,000 LGBTQ youth across the country.

It revealed 39 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth having seriously considered. And 76 percent of LGBTQ youth felt that the recent political climate impacted their mental health or sense of self.

Dr. Lindsay Pate, a psychologist with the non-profit Youth Villages, says it shows there is still a lot of work to do.

"The first step is really to acknowledge the identity and to accept the young person for who they are,” said Pate.

OUT Memphis, a local LGBTQ Center for the Mid-South, is doing just that.

They are providing resources and opportunities, like an LGBTQ job fair that was held Tuesday.

"Job insecurity is a big issue for our youth, so to give them an opportunity to be sustainable once we finish in our rapid rehousing program,” said Stephanie Bell, youth services manager.

Nearly a dozen big-name companies were ready to hire, including Macy's, Ikea and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Pate says having support like that available from OUT Memphis can be a big help for LGBTQ youth dealing with mental health issues.

"For many young people, having a close friend or a chosen family can have an impact on their mental health and help them toward a lifetime of success and stability,” said Pate.

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