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Study highlights the vast differences between gay and straight suicides

Study highlights the vast differences between gay and straight suicides

A Saudi Arabia teen killed himself after coming out to family

Gay people are likely to die by suicide in different ways to straight people, a study has suggested.

Research has shown the LGBTI community is more likely to have faced different hardships leading up to the attempt.

The study analyzed more than 120,000 suicide deaths across 18 states from 2003 to 2014.

The study was published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. It is thought to be the largest study to examine suicides of gay people.

And it found some horrifying statistics.

Horrifying findings on LGBTI suicide

Gay, lesbian and bi teens are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight counterparts.

Compared to straight people, gay men and women are more likely to have had a diagnosed mental health condition. They were also more likely to have had a history of suicidal thoughts or plans.

The study also compared the ‘most commonly used mechanism of injury’ for straight and gay people who took their own lives.

Straight men were the likeliest to use firearms, while straight women were likeliest to use poison.

For gay men, the likeliest method of suicide was ‘hanging/strangulation/suffocation’ (38&); for lesbians it was ‘hanging/strangulation/suffocation’ (36%) and firearms (35%).

Gay and lesbian people were also more likelier than straight people to have reported a ‘depressed mood’ or ‘intimate partner problems and arguments’.

Discrimination and minority stress

The authors suggest ‘these differences may be linked in part to minority stress and discrimination’.

Researchers also say ‘some mental health providers may lack knowledge and awareness of issues (i.e., stigma and homophobia) that may be pertinent to many gender and sexual minority patients.’

The authors said they hoped their findings are useful in suicide prevention efforts.

‘Suicide prevention programs developed or tailored for LGBT individuals can consider the risk factors that are most salient to the targeted population and how these factors may differ from non-LGBT individuals,’ the study states.

If you are in crisis, feeling suicidal or in need of a safe place to talk, call the 24/7 TrevorLifeline on 1-866-488-7386.

Need support? LGBTI helplines for those in crisis or seeking advice