There are numerous risk factors that contribute to suicide in the LGBTQ+ population, most are common to all populations – psychiatric disorders, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other mental health issues. At the same time, there are other issues that are not dealt with outside the LGBTQ+ population – homophobia, gender nonconformity, self-identification at a young age, interpersonal conflict in regard to sexual identity, hidden sexual identity, societal attitudes, religious attitudes and discrimination based on sexual orientation.
How to Help
Offering unwavering support for your LGBTQ+ loved one is one of the best ways to offer help. If you are straight, be an ally in the community by publicly showing your support. If you are LGBTQ+, affirm your identity and offer support to others. Check in with your LGBTQ+ loved one often. Know the warning signs of suicide, and listen to them actively, without judgment, to help pick up on these signs. If they do display any signs, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions can facilitate in getting them the help they need.
When You Should Call
If you or someone you know is LGBTQ+ and/or is exhibiting any of the following warning signs, the Arkansas Crisis Center is here for you to provide emotional support and resources in your area. If someone is in immediate danger or you are unable to connect, please dial 9-1-1.”
Warning signs of suicide:
- Increased isolation from friends and family
- New or increased alcohol/drug use
- Negative attitude toward self
- Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
- Change in usual behavior/loss of interest in usual activities
- Giving away possessions
- Expression of a lack of future orientation (i.e., “It won’t matter soon anyway”)
- Signs of depression