LGBT-inclusive national suicide strategy unveiled

World Suicide Prevention Day 2012 logoBY CHRIS JOHNSON
Washington Blade

A new strategy unveiled Monday aimed at reducing the suicide rate in the United States includes a section on the rate of suicide for LGBT people — saying they may be particularly at risk because of “minority stress” and “institutional discrimination” resulting from anti-gay laws on the books.

The 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, made public on World Suicide Prevention Day, was published by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and former Defense Secretary of Robert Gates launched the alliance in late 2010 in part to address the suicide rate among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans returning home.

The strategy details multiple goals for reducing suicide, such as integrating suicide prevention into health care policies and changing the way the public talks about suicide and suicide prevention. In addition to veterans, the study identifies particular groups that may face a higher suicide rate, such as individuals with mental and substance abuse disorders, individuals in justice or child welfare settings and LGBT people.

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