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Suicide risk at crisis proportions among LGBT+ youth: US research

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Nearly two million lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other queer (LGBT+) young people in the United States are estimated to consider suicide seriously every year, according to research underscoring their mental health risks published on Thursday.

[MEXICO CITY] Nearly two million lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other queer (LGBT+) young people in the United States are estimated to consider suicide seriously every year, according to research underscoring their mental health risks published on Thursday.

The dangerous trend was most prevalent among LGBT+ teenagers, who were nearly twice as likely to consider suicide compared with young LGBT+ adults aged 19 to 24, said the research by the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention group.

Despite progress on gay rights in recent years, LGBT+ young people face rejection, discrimination and bullying, posing mental health dangers, Trevor experts said.

The findings showed more than 1.8 million LGBT+ young people in the United States were estimated to consider suicide seriously every year.

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Research earlier this month found nearly one in five LGBT+ youth had attempted suicide in the last year.

"Suicide is an ongoing public health crisis for young people in the US, especially among (LGBT+) youth," said Amit Paley, head of the Trevor Project, in a statement.

"Better understanding the mental health experiences of LGBT+ young people is a major step in addressing their significantly higher risk for attempting suicide," Mr Paley said.

The findings were released as celebrations were underway around the world this month marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York, when patrons of a gay bar resisted police harassment.

The uprising helped trigger an equal rights movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other queer people.

The Trevor Project studied almost 35,000 LGBT+ people ages 13 to 24 in the United States.

It compared with a 2015 study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found 43 per cent of gay, lesbian, or bisexual students considered attempting suicide in the previous year, compared with about 15 per cent of heterosexual students.

REUTERS