According to a study by The Trevor project almost 20% of all LGBTQ+ youth attempted suicide in the past year alone.
Yesterday, the LGBTIQ+ community in Botswana celebrated the ruling to decriminalise homosexuality in the country.
Judge Michael Elburu found the country’s laws oppressive to the minority population.
He said: “We say the time has come that private, same sexuality must be decriminalized. It is a variety of human sexuality.”
Despite this being a celebrated ruling by the LGBTIQ+ in Africa, there is also a huge mental health problem among the community.
The Trevor project released the alarming suicide findings after conducting a study into mental health in the LGBTIQ+.
According to the study 1 in 5 people in the community from 13 to 24, along with 1 in 3 transgender and non-binary young people within the age attempted suicide in the past year.
The survey also revealed that 39 percent of young people in the community had also contemplated taking their own lives.
The CEO and executive director of the Trevor Project, Amit Paley, explained that the root of the problem stemmed from the stigma that comes with being part of the LGBTIQ+ community.
“It’s important to note that LGBTQ+ youth are not at higher risk of suicide because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” she said.
“They are at a higher risk because they face harmful rejection and discrimination from friends, families and communities that can make them feel their lives are worth less than their straight or cisgender peers.”
The report goes further to show that two-thirds of the young people in the community had someone attempt to “change” their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The study also showed that attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation is more likely to make them three times more likely to attempt to commit suicide.
And 71 percent of respondents revealed that they had personally experienced discrimination because of their sexual orientation or identity, and they had also spent about two weeks in a depressive state, in the past year.
Paley believes that it’s important to strive towards a world that affirms young people from the LGBTQ+ community.
“It is so important that we work tirelessly to let LGBTQ+ youth know that they are beautiful as they are, that they are deserving of respect, and that they are not alone,” she said.