Most LGBTQ Youth Can’t Access Mental Health Care. How Schools Can Help

March 24, 2023

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Education Week

According to a recent report from The Trevor Project, most LGBTQ students in all but two states said they sought mental health care but were unable to access it. In a survey of 34,000 LGBTQ youth, many reported barriers to accessing mental health care related to parental permission requirements or fear of talking about mental health concerns. Previous research from The Trevor Project found that access to LGBTQ-affirming schools can lead to better mental health outcomes and fewer suicide attempts among LGBTQ students. Schools can play an important role in promoting students’ mental health by asking them what they need to feel supported and providing access to mental health programs and services. Experts recommend schools establish suicide prevention policies that address the challenges faced by students with multiple marginalized identities and educate teachers and parents about LGBTQ identities and mental health. They also suggest schools implement policies that are transgender-inclusive and prohibit anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment.

Spark Extra! Watch our SPARK Talk on culturally competent care for LGBTQ youth.