“…The damage is extensive: Most LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school and struggle with mental health, according to two new reports based on large-scale student surveys.
Reported rates of depression, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts were far higher among LGBTQ students than their peers last school year, and highest among transgender and nonbinary youth, according to a survey of students in 20 states by the nonprofit YouthTruth….the survey also found that girls’ mental health is worse than boys’.
Another recent report helps explain LGBTQ students’ distress: The vast majority experienced harassment or assault during in-person school, and many heard school employees use homophobic language, according to a national survey of LGBTQ students conducted in 2021 and released this month by GLSEN, a group that promotes safe and inclusive schools.
“Most LGBTQ students are going to schools that are unsafe, unwelcoming, and not affirming,” said Caitlin Clark, a senior research associate at GLSEN who co-authored the report.
The reports highlight how the youth mental health crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic, has ravaged marginalized groups more than others. They also suggest that the national campaign to bolster young people’s mental health could fail LGBTQ students if it ignores the sources of their pain, including mistreatment at school and social stigmatization made worse, advocates say, by the recent surge in anti-LGBTQ laws….”