GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new study out this month found that nearly half of Michigan’s LGBTQ youth considered suicide last year.
The Trevor Project is a national suicide prevention organization for the LGBTQ community. Its annual study found that 45% of this youth community in Michigan considered suicide in the past year and 15% attempted suicide.
“The LGBTQ+ community is disproportionately represented within AYA Youth Collective,” said Andy Allen, director of advancement at AYA, a local nonprofit that helps youth who experience homelessness or unstable housing situations. “About 35% of our youth identify as LGBTQ+ upon entering and that number probably goes up as we get to know them and they feel more comfortable to identify how they identify.”
Allen told News 8 that while his organization helps all Kent County youth between the ages of 13-24, they have noticed a spike in mental health struggles.
“Mental health is at the top of the list of things we need to take care of,” he said. “We firmly believe that as well. We need to create housing options and mental health options so that people can lead stable lives. So much of that is surrounded by who is in your community.”
The national survey also found 76% of LGBTQ youth in Michigan reported experiencing anxiety and 59% experienced depression.