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Three Schools Receive Federal Grant to Study LGBT Youth Suicide

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A federal agency on mental health has awarded three leading universities a grant that will allow them to study risk factors and assess protective measures for LGBT youth considering suicide.

The National Institute of Mental Health gave researchers at New York University, the University of Arizona and Widener University $2.8 million for the five-year study. Dr. Phillip Rutter will lead the investigation for Widener University in Philadelphia starting next month after securing about $600,000 of the overall federal grant.

Rutter tells OutQ News that he, along with researchers in New York and Phoenix, will collect what he calls “a significant number of data from one of the largest samples of gay and lesbian youth ever conducted.” He says the study is especially important since LGBT youth suicide has been an “understated dilemma for way too long.”

RUTTER: Our goal with such an assertive/aggressive task, is to really see at the end product what can we offer to clinicians, to parents, to community members that are wanting to save gay youths lives-what can we really give them as a tangible product.

Rutter says it’s exciting to see federal dollars allocated toward this type of research, which he says will make “significant efforts” to focus on the transgender community and ethnic gays and lesbians.

But the clinician says he’s mostly looking forward to determining what makes LGBT youth “resilient.”

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