Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-10-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Providers discuss risk factors for LGBT suicides
by Matt Simonette
2017-09-27

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


While health providers and researchers agree that LGBT individuals can be at a higher risk for attempting or completing suicide, the extent of that risk is difficult to determine. If a person completes a suicide, oftentimes few people know whether or not that person was a member of the LGBT community.

Suicide in the last 10-15 years or is up about 24 percent across all communities, said psychiatrist Andrew Segovia Kulick, M.D., of Cook County Health & Hospitals System. "When we talk about suicide it's a major problem for ages 15-34," he added. "It's the second leading cause of death [in that age group], and when you try to discuss LGBT issues, that's about the age where people are having identity issues around their identity and learning who they are."

Kulick added, "There's not much data out there because, with completed suicides, they don't really check sexual orientation of the issues … but we know that the LGBT community does suffer from higher levels of depression and substance abuse, and that tends to lead to higher levels of suicide completion."

It often takes more than one stressor to lead a person to contemplate suicide, such as "loss of a job, loss of a loved one, trouble at school—and then you have the added stress of your identity on top of it, which makes things worse," said Kulick.

Howard Brown Health Behavioral Health Services Senior Director Kelly Ducheny said that current events can leave community members feeling more "fatigued and overwhelmed," adding that, "So much more has to go into the feeling of protection for the self and the community. So much energy goes into just managing the fear that is just washing in waves over the community, as a next announcement is made or a new danger presents itself."

Ducheny emphasized that Howard Brown had not seen a short-term surge in suicide ideation, but said, "The stresses of living in America right now, trying to find ways in just getting through the day are difficult."

Several communities, the LGBT community among them, have been targeted and demonized by politicians and others who have public forums, she noted.

"When those targeted identities make up your identity, the stress is cumulative," explained Ducheny. "Folks of color; folks that are trans or gender non-conforming; folks that are DACA, immigrants or refugees; folks that are LGBTQ—the targeting is so clear and so sharp, and if you mix that with all the national and international disasters that are occurring, you are just constantly bombarded with trauma, hopelessness, fear and the feeling that the ground that felt steady under your feet just isn't steady anymore."

Among the warning signs that a loved one or friend might be contemplating suicide are, according to Kulick, if they speak often about being a burden or have little will to live; uncharacteristic discussions about guns or particular medications; excessive drug or alcohol use; avoiding friends or family; excessive sleeping; or aggressive behavior.

Ducheny said a sharp increase in risky behavior was another warning sign. "If they hop down on the tracks at an L station, or are driving really irratically, that might be a sign," she explained. "Stepping in front of cars, and saying 'If I die, I die,' is another."

She also noted that among the biggest risk factors is a personal loss.

"That can be financial, or a love relationship, or even a roommate," she said. "That can be something happening where you feel threatened at your job or at school. That can be where you thought you had a solution for a problem … and that solution is lost."

Previous attempts are another risk factor, as are signs that someone is making a plan or laying the groundwork for their death, Ducheny said. She further emphasized it was important for persons to never doubt the sincerity of anyone who talks about suicide, and not just assume that it is a play for attention or sympathy.

"Sometimes people are trying to communicate intense levels of despair and depression, and sometimes they're looking for words to understand that," she noted. "[The concept of] suicide can help someone understand how desperate, frightened and overwhelmed they are feeling. If someone talks about it, you have to take it seriously."

Asking whether someone has suicidal intentions will never create or increase the risk of that person's suicide, Ducheny emphasized. "If people tell you about it, it was there to start with. You will never feed [the desire] or strengthen it by asking about it. You will just understand it better."

A number of resources are available both for persons contemplating suicide as well as persons impacted by someone's contemplated, attempted or completed suicide.

"You can encourage the person to call to get help, you can call with them sitting there or you can call yourself and say, 'This has just been disclosed to me,'" Ducheny said. "The people on these hotlines are trained to respectfully and affirmatively manage this kind of risk. They will offer support to people providing care and to people having those feelings."

Ducheny and Kulick both recommended turning to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or suicidepreventionlifeline.org . Ducheny also said that transgender persons may wish to speak with the TransLifeline at 877-565-8860.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Planned Parenthood Videos Help Parents, Kids Talk About Bodies, Gender, Identities 2018-10-17 - New York, NY — Planned Parenthood Federation of America has launched the first set of videos in a new series for parents and ...


Gay News

HIV Care Connect releases health quiz 2018-10-17 - In an effort to assist Illinois residents living with HIV who are affected by social determinants of health, Illinois HIV Care Connect has ...


Gay News

Jury awards Wis. trans women $780K 2018-10-17 - In Madison, Wisconsin, a jury awarded $780,000 to two transgender state employees who were denied insurance coverage of transition surgeries, The Milwaukee Journal ...


Gay News

Two spaces celebrate access to artists with disabilities 2018-10-17 - Accessibility has many shades of meaning in the arts, far beyond the question of "Is this work that people can understand?" For artists ...


Gay News

PFLAG conference Nov. 10 in suburb 2018-10-17 - The PFLAG Council of Northern Illinois is hosting a day-long PFLAG Conference on Saturday, Nov. 10, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at Southminster Presbyterian Church, ...


Gay News

Project VIDA celebrates National Coming Out Day 2018-10-17 - On Oct. 11, Project VIDA, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health, presented an event marking National Coming Out Day at ...


Gay News

Legal Council for Health Justice marks three decades with gala 2018-10-16 - Legal Council for Health Justice ( LCHJ ) celebrated 30 years with a gala at Venue West on Oct. 13. Formerly named the ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2018 Betsy Londrigan on healthcare, LGBT issues 2018-10-16 - Springfield resident Betsy Londrigan, a Democrat, is challenging Republican incumbent Rodney Davis for his post representing the 13th Congressional District in Washington, D.C. ...


Gay News

Awareness of trans community focus of multi-agency event 2018-10-15 - By Carrie Maxwell Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, Howard Brown Health, Lakeview Presbyterian Church and The Village Chicago hosted an event, "Putting the ...


Gay News

2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment launches 2018-10-11 - CHICAGO — Wednesday, October 17 marks the beginning of the data collection period for the 2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment, conducted by ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.