At the Walnut West branch of the Free Library, several stereotypes were addressed as a crowd of just over a dozen people gathered to discuss the importance of mental health issues in the LGBTQ community, including the increased risk of suicide.
The session promoted collaboration between those in attendance and the presenters. It also served as a training session for residents to learn how to recognize and prevent suicidal actions, as well as understand their roots.
“It’s important to know that LGBTQ+ people are not specifically or inherently more likely to have higher rates of depression or suicidal ideation,” said César Mantilla, assistant manager of community-based services in Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and disAbility Services (DBHIDS). “It’s the product of treatment from a hostile world that results in these statistics.”
The statistics are jarring, particularly among young members of the LGBTQ community. According to The Trevor Project, LGBTQ youth contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth.