Here at Daily Kos, we’re making an ongoing effort to cover the Republican assault on trans rights. Conservatives are doing their best to try various routes to isolate and discriminate against trans folks, whether it comes down to denying them safe, gender-affirming health care, getting accurate gender markers on government IDs, or playing on sports teams. Republicans spend a lot of time talking about LGBTQ+ people in general, but nothing about mental health.
As Daily Kos has highlighted in the past, LGBTQ+ people (including youth) are more likely to report living with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to report being bullied and harassed at school, and are more likely to leave without a high school diploma. They’re also more likely to be survivors of sexual and physical assault. According to a new research brief from The Trevor Project, deaf LGBTQ+ youth are at an even higher risk for depression and suicide than their hearing classmates, as highlighted over at them.
More than 80% of deaf respondents said they live with depression, with 55% saying they’ve seriously contemplated suicide in the recent year, and more than 25% reporting they’ve attempted suicide in the same timeframe. Compared to hearing youth, this data suggests deaf youth are twice as likely to report a suicide attempt. In terms of depression and suicidal ideation, 68% of hearing youth report living with depression in the last year, while 39% reported seriously considering suicide.
This data comes from a new report the Trevor Project released on Monday using data from its 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health. For context, this report includes “all forms” of deafness, including people who hearing impaired, deafblind, and both medical and nonmedical perspectives.
Now, correlation does not equal causation, and we can’t say for sure we know what causes these differences. But it’s absolutely worth noting that according to the same data, nearly 60% of deaf respondents said they’ve been discriminated against based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Deaf youth who said they’d been discriminated against in the recent year were nearly twice as likely to contemplate suicide, and more than twice as likely to attempt it.
How to mitigate risk? That’s (obviously) a multifaceted conversation, but according to this data, deaf respondents who reported having high levels of support from families were about half as likely to report considering suicide. They were also about half as likely to attempt suicide.
And as some final context, it’s important to point out that not all deaf folks consider themselves disabled. According to this data, just over one-third of deaf respondents to this survey identified as disabled. So some people do, some people don’t, and this is in an instance where one needs to always honor what the individual chooses and go from there.
If you or a loved one are experiencing emotional distress or thoughts of suicide, please don’t hesitate to get help. Here’s a roundup of five free mental health resources, as well as the The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, which is free and available 24/7.
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