Transgender Suicide PSA –

 

List of outcomes: Raise awareness regarding the high risk of transgender youth suicide among those who can help (family, friends, and social network). Identify transgender people as people who suffer as everyone suffers, but statistically greater. Identify why addressing SI among the transgender population deserves immediate attention. Inform that suicide is preventable and the smallest of acts can prevent attempts.

 

How: Provide a video PSA with voiceover that can be played online.

 

Script (References will not be read aloud):

Suicide, is the leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults in the United States, but none are more at risk than our transgender youth. In America 86% of transgender people thought about suicide, while 51% have actually attempted to end their life (Mak et al., 2020; Safer et al., 2017; Toomey et al., 2018). These numbers are 26x higher than that of their cisgender counterparts (Safer et al., 2017). Heart-breakingly, the majority of suicide thoughts, plans, and attempts occur among our transgender youth ages 10-17 years old (Goodman et al., 2018).

 

Transgender teens are at the highest risk of experiencing violence, discrimination, and being cut off from their family (Toomey et al., 2018). This is where you can help. If you have a loved-one or a friend who feels uncomfortable for just wanting to be themselves and feel good in their own body, reach out to them, give them a compliment, let them know that you appreciate them and can be with them just as they are wherever they are, and most of all be willing to listen and let them know they matter – at least to you. Strengthening social support from family and friends drastically reduces suicide attempts (Ibrahim et al., 2019; Tabaac et al., 2015; VA, n.d.).

Suicide is painful for everyone and can be prevented. Be an ally. Prevent suicide for everyone.

 

References

 

Goodman, M., & Nash, R. (2018). Examining health outcomes for people who are transgender. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). https://www.pcori.org/research-results/2013/examining-health-outcomes-people-who-are-transgender

 

Ibrahim, N., Che Din, N., Ahmad, M., Amit, N., Ghazali, S. E., Wahab, S., Abdul Kadir, N. B., Halim, F. W., & A. Halim, M. R. (2019). The role of social support and spiritual wellbeing in predicting suicidal ideation among marginalized adolescents in Malaysia. BMC Public Health, 19(S4). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6861-7

 

Lerner, J. E., & Robles, G. (2016). The Need for Social Work Advocacy to Create Social Justice for Transgender People: A Call to Action. The Need for Social Work Advocacy to Create Social Justice for Transgender People: A Call to Action, 43(1). https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3994&context=jssw

 

Mak, M., Shires, D. A., Zhang, Q., Prieto, L. R., Ahmedani, B. K., Kattari, L., Bacerra-Culqui, T., …& Goodman, M. (2020). Suicide attempts among a cohort of transgender and gender diverse people. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 59(4), 570-577. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749379720301835

 

Safer, J. D., Coleman, E., Feldman, J., Garofalo, R., Hembree, W., Radix, A., & Savelius, J. (2017). Barriers to health care for transgender individuals. National Center for Biotechnology Information, 23(2), 168-171. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4802845/

 

Tabaac, A. R., Perrin, P. B., & Rabinovitch, A. E. (2015). The relationship between social support and suicide risk in a national sample of ethnically diverse sexual minority women. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 20(2), 116-126. https://doi.org/10.1080/19359705.2015.1135842

 

Toomey, R. B., Syvertsen, A. K., & Shramko, M. (2018). Transgender adolescent suicide behavior. Pediatrics, 142(4). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-4218

 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). (n.d.). Social support and belongingness as protective factors. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/docs/Literature_Review_FSTP_Social_Support_508_FINAL_07-11-2019.pdf

 

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