Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10-24 in the United States.
There is one group, however, among this age range that is far more vulnerable: the LGBTQ community.
Youth in the LGBTQ community are often victims of physical and verbal bullying. Many times they suffer in silence, which makes them more susceptible to suicide.
Due to discrimination and rejection, many young transgender people not only suffer from depression but also contemplate suicide. Enrique Chiabra reports.
One of these youths is Nathan who chose this path. At the age of 13, he was barely embracing the beginning of his life.
“I miss her so much,” says her mother, Esther Ybarra-Bryant. “More than anything, her smile and her hugs.”
Nathan decides to take his own life when his family is away from home. Carbon monoxide from a vehicle running in the garage of his home was the cause of his death.
“He told me he was sick and stayed home,” says his mother, who decided to call him when he was already at the office.
“When he told me ‘bye mom, I love you,’ his throat, his voice broke,” says a broken Ybarra-Bryant. “As a mother, I didn’t feel good.”
His foreboding turns into a nightmare when his daughter calls him at the office to tell him she found Nathan unconscious from the effects of carbon monoxide in the garage.
A health expert gives advice on how parents can help their children maintain good mental health
Ybarra-Bryant recalls, “With that, my whole life went out, with a scream the whole office heard.” “For the death of my son, because I could not believe it. It was a shock. I fell on the chair and could not move.”
Her son never told her about his sexuality but she had a feeling.
Ybarra-Bryant recalls, “It wasn’t until the funeral.” “A mother came in, she said to me, ‘Ester, do you know they were bullying her, they were mistreating her?’
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 40% of high school students say they have experienced some form of anxiety or depression in the past year.
According to The Trevor Project, more than 40% of LGBTQ youth have seriously considered suicide in the past year.
“There’s a lack of support, there’s a lot of discrimination, there’s a lack of acceptance,” said Joanna Amanero, a therapist at the Condor Center.
Amanero also sheds light on the signs that young people and people experiencing depression or a problem may show.
“Isolation, changes in behavior, mood, problems with eating, trouble sleeping, can be a sign that they are going through a very difficult time,” says Amanero.
Therapists emphasize that it is important to offer support to people who may be exhibiting these behaviors.
“Sometimes asking, ‘How are you? How are you feeling? Maybe that’s the only question the person needs at the time,'” Amanero says.
An organization in Southern California shows how people can overcome depression and trauma through their therapy sessions.
A missing topic among latinos
Andy Placencia has had a rough time during the pandemic because of his sexuality.
“Among Latinos, I believe homosexuality is an absentee topic, one that is not discussed.”
His life was shrouded in dark thoughts.
“So, I told myself, ‘I don’t belong here, I shouldn’t be here,'” says Placencia.
The young man had thoughts of suicide twice, at the age of 20 and 22. But, through therapy, he refrained from leaping into the void.
Placencia said, “I told myself that no matter whether someone accepts me or not, I’m going to commit myself to being who I am.”
Lawyer Ileana Villalobos speaks freely about a moment in her youth when she suffered from depression and overcame it thanks to the help she received. Now she offers to negotiate.
The scar on her mother’s heart left by Nathan’s departure has not fully healed.
But that same pain drives her to stop other families from going through the same thing.
Open the communication door. That kid’s going to tell her the truth,” advises Ybarra-Bryant.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988, or the Crisis Text Line by texting “HOME” to 741 741 at any time.