How To Take Care Of Yourself
Know you are not alone. In addition to the 988 Lifeline, there are resources at the bottom of this page where you can connect with services and other members of the LGBTQI+ community. You can also hear from real people in our LGBTQI+ stories of hope and recovery below.
Build a support network. Develop a support network in your life that will help keep you safe and that you can lean on if you feel depressed or suicidal.
Make a safety plan. Have a step-by-step plan ready for if/when you feel depressed, suicidal, or in crisis, so you can start at step one and continue through the steps until you feel safe. Having a template on hand with an established plan may be helpful, or you can get help and guidance at mysafetyplan.org/.
How To Help
Be an ally. Publicly show your support and advocate for LGBTQI+ communities, even and especially when they are not present. Ensure that you are supporting loved ones by affirming their identity, using their pronouns, and being an active part of creating an anti-oppressive, gender-affirming space.
Know the facts. Reinforcing people’s agency by calling them the correct name and pronouns is proven to reduce suicidal behaviors by over 60%. About 40% of unhoused youth identify as LGBTQIA+, placing them further at risk for complex layers of harm. Strong family bonds, safe schools, and support from caring adults can all protect LGBTQI+ youth from depression and suicidality (Committee on Adolescence 2013).
LGBTQI+ elders face substantial barriers—stemming from current discrimination as well as the accumulation of a lifetime of legal and structural discrimination, social stigma, and isolation. Others struggle with the burdens of poverty and social isolation. Each older LGBTQ+ adult carries their own story of pride and silence, of resilience and struggle, of love and loss. (SAGE, 2017).
Ask and listen. Be an active part of your loved ones’ support systems and check in with them often. If they show any warning signs for suicide, be direct and ask. Tell them it’s OK to talk about suicidal feelings. Listen to their story without offering advice or judgment. For more guidance on steps you can take to help someone thinking of suicide, visit bethe1to.org.
Collaborate with your loved one to get them any help they might need. Support them in identifying others to talk to who may understand how they feel – family members, friends, co-workers, and faith or spiritual leaders. If you’re not sure where to start, the 988 Lifeline is always here to talk or chat, both for crisis intervention and to support loved ones, families, and allies.
Family and community support. Support from family, trusted adults, and friends make all the difference for transgender children and youth. LGBTQI+ youth who felt high social support from their family reported attempting suicide at less than half the rate of those who felt low or moderate social support. (The Trevor Project). Learn more about affirming behaviors families and loved ones can do to support LGBTQI+ youth here. Additionally, learn more about The Trevor Project’s Community Network here.
Resources For LGBTQ+ People And Allies
For Grace, all it took was one day for her to change her life and her mindset. Grace is the founder of the Best Day Project, a LGBTQIA youth suicide prevention web series.
"I challenged myself from that day to just be the exact kind of person I want to be and live the exact kind of life I want to, and it’s just–it was up to me to do it. So, I just started living for the day, just enjoying everything I could [and] really making good decisions."Read Grace's Story
When Anna came to terms with her sexuality, she realized that everyone's journey to happiness is unique.
"There is not one way to accept yourself, as there is not one way to fall in love, or to be happy, or to pick your favorite color."Read Anna's Story