Researchers find disparities in suicide risk among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults

Suicide risk among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults varies considerably depending on the intersection between sexual identity and other aspects of identity, such as gender, age, and race/ethnicity, according to a study led by researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study, which examined data from a nationally representative survey of adults in the United States, also showed that lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are overall more likely to report suicide-related thoughts, plans, and attempts within the past 12 months compared with heterosexual adults.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, indicate that the intersection of multiple social identities may compound suicide risk for some lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals.

“This study demonstrates the importance of asking about sexual identity in national data collection efforts, and it highlights the pressing need for suicide prevention services that address the specific experiences and needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults of different genders, ages, and race and ethnic groups,” said Rajeev Ramchand, Ph.D., Senior Advisor on Epidemiology and Suicide Prevention at NIMH and lead author of the study.

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This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022