$3-Trillion Bill Offers Lifeline: LGBTQ Youth ‘More Than 4 Times More Likely to Contemplate Suicide’

By CNSNews.com Staff | May 13, 2020 | 1:36pm EDT
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - A section on page 1,211 of the 1,815-page “HEROES Act,” which has a reported cost of about $3 trillion, calls for providing assistance to help develop strategies and plans to prevent suicides among “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer” (LGBTQ) youth.

Sec. 130605 of the bill—titled “Report on Certain Training Programs”—says: “It is the sense of Congress that (1) youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (referred to in this section as ‘LGBTQ’) are more than 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide than their peers.”

This is a screen capture from page 1,211 of the HEROES Act.
This is a screen capture from page 1,211 of the HEROES Act.

“1 in 5 LGBTQ youth and more than I in 3 transgender youth report attempting suicide this past year,” says the bill.

“[T]he Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration must be equipped to provide specialized resources to this at-risk community,” it says.

“Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use shall submit…a report that—(1) details a strategy, to be developed in consultation with 1 or more organizations with expertise in suicide of LGBTQ youth as well as 1 or more organizations with expertise in suicide of other high risk populations, for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to offer, support, or provide technical assistance to training programs for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline counselors to increase competency in serving LGBTQ youth and other high risk populations,” the bill says.

The bill also calls for “recommendations regarding (A) the facilitation of access to services that are provided to specially trained staff and partner organizations for LGBTQ individuals and other high risk populations; and (B) a strategy for optimally implementing an Integrated Voice Response, or other equally effective mechanism, to allow National Suicide Prevention Lifeline callers who are LGBTQ youth or members of other high risk populations to access specialized services.”

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