When it comes to suicide prevention, awareness and support can’t be limited to just one month. During Suicide Prevention Month, we honor those who increase awareness and take action in communities every day. As leaders of Teach For America’s LGBTQ Community and Native Alliance Initiatives, we can’t sit silent in this work. Together, we must acknowledge the work that is still left to be done.
Too often, we hear statistics that frame the inequity amongst students in our communities, but to continue the fight against educational equity, we must also face another barrier head on that impacts students and keeps them from achieving and leading successful lives — suicide. Native and LGBTQ youth attempt and commit suicide at disproportionately high rates. Suicide is the second leading cause of death — and 2.5 times the national rate — for American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) youth aged 15 to 24. Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers — and questioning youth are three times more likely.
Read more in Diverse Issues in Higher Education.