American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to host LGBT conference

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) will be hosting a conference on LGBT Suicide Risk and Prevention on March 22 at San Francisco State University.

The conference is intended for: healthcare and social service providers, policy makers, mental health professionals, and clergy. Students are also strongly encouraged to attend. The conference will be dealing with preventing suicide in LGBT youth, as well as working with faith communities to prevent suicide, mental health risks, among other things.

“We are excited to share what we know about the factors that put LGBT people at elevated risk for suicide, and talk about possible solutions with professionals and community members who face these concerns every day,” said Ann Haas, Senior Consultant to AFSP. This conference will focus on the public groups that are most at risk for suicide: transgender individuals, LGBT elderly and those that have been rejected by their own communities.

GoodTherapy.org tells us that LGBT teens are two to five times more likely than others to attempt suicide. In a study done in Pediatrics in 2011 21.5% of LGBT youth had attempted suicide. The cause of the higher risk is both lack of parental support, and bullying. LGBT kids feel ostracized by both peers and family, leading to isolation, which is a known risk factor for suicide. In a Huffington Post article from 2011 it shows that suicide risk in LGBT youth runs by region: 21% in the West, 25% in the Midwest, 19% in the Northeast, and 35% in the South.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading organization in bringing people together through different communities and backgrounds to understand and prevent suicide, along with helping heal the pain that it causes to individuals and families. GLAAD and AFSP have presented together on "Talking About Suicide & LGBT Populations" at the Equality Federation held in 2011.

Registration and information is available at the ASFP web site.

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