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Fed’s suicide prevention task force focuses on gay kids

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The federal government has created a new task force aimed at preventing suicides among gay teens.

Leading the L-G-B-T Youth task force for the National Action Alliance are bullying czar Kevin Jennings and The Trevor Project’s executive director, Charles Robbins.

Robbins tells OutQ News that although the task force is still in its formative stage, it will eventually include researchers and activists. He says they will work to identify methods by which to address suicide prevention.

Robbins says LGBT youth are about four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, with more than a-third of all gay kids reporting having made an attempt. Also, gay teens coming from a rejecting family are about EIGHT times more likely to have tried taking their own lives than LGBT youth from an accepting family.

Robbins says that while these numbers have remained steady over the past few years, awareness among the community has definitely changed.

Robbins: “Ultimately, what’s happened is that young people are finding out that there are resources available and that is so important to let youth know that they are not alone, and that it does get better. But that also they can make it better today and that’s a really, really important message.”

Robbins says his goal for the task force is to lower the number of gay teen suicides and to hold school districts accountable for bullying reported on their campuses.

The LGBT youth task force is one of three targeting populations at high risk for suicide. The others focus on Native Americans, and military personnel and veterans.

–Xorje Olivares

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Written by OutQ News staff

January 4, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Posted in Federal Govt, Youth

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