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Sexual Orientation and Suicidal Behaviour in Young People: A Review

21st August 2017

The British Journal of Psychiatry has published a new review and meta-analysis on Sexual orientation and suicidal behaviour in adolescents and young adults. The review updates the heavily cited systematic review Mental disorders, suicide and self-harm in lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people (King et al., 2008). A decade ago, King and colleagues brought attention to the topic of the mental health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people. It found a 'two-fold increase in risk of suicide attempts in LGB people compared with heterosexual people of all ages.'

The latest review from the British Journal of Psychiatry found that '[s]exual orientation is associated with a higher risk of suicide attempt in young people.' However, it also determined that '[f]urther research is needed to assess completed suicide, and specific risk factors affecting the LGB population.'

You can read the review here.

You can read a response to the review from 'The Mental Elf' here.


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Suicide is the biggest killer of young people - male and female - under 35 in the UK. Many thousands more attempt or contemplate suicide, harm themselves or suffer alone, afraid to speak openly about how they are feeling.

We are the national charity for the prevention of young suicide. We draw from the experience of many who have been touched personally by young suicide across the UK and speak on their behalf in our campaigns and in our work. We need more people who share our aims to join us to strengthen our voice - together we can save young lives.

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