Addressing discrimination supports youth suicide prevention efforts

Experiences of identity-based discrimination are associated with increased risk of suicide, especially among youth with multiple marginalized identities. To effectively reduce suicide among youth, state leaders must understand the relationship between discrimination and suicide risk. Child Trends’ new brief summarizes youth suicide risk patterns from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey and Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey, highlights variation in suicide attempts across states, and reviews state suicide prevention plans to determine whether they address discrimination as a risk factor for youth suicide. Researchers provide strategies for state leaders to ensure that state suicide prevention plans address discrimination; these strategies include ensuring that the state’s plan is current, collecting suicide risk data that include key demographic characteristics, and emphasizing the protective effect of school connectedness in developing plans.

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