Mental Health Service Use Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults Who Report Having Attempted Suicide

Published in: Psychiatric Services (2022). doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.20220132

Posted on RAND.org on October 27, 2022

by Rajeev Ramchand, Megan S. Schuler, Lynsay Ayer, Lisa Colpe, Michael Schoenbaum

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Objective

This study estimated mental health service use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults in the United States who reported having made a suicide attempt.

Methods

Data came from the pooled 2015–2019 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Of the 191,954 adult respondents, 1,946 reported a past-year suicide attempt. Survey-weighted descriptive and regression analyses were conducted to compare mental health service use among LGB and heterosexual adults.

Results

Three percent of LGB adults (N=598) reported having attempted suicide in the past year, compared with 0.5% of heterosexual adults (N=1,348). Mental health treatment use was significantly higher among LGB adults than among heterosexual adults (64% versus 56%) before analyses were adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics.

Conclusions

Because suicide attempts and mental health use are elevated among LGB adults, clinicians must provide evidence-based approaches for identifying and managing suicide risk to LGB adults in an affirming manner.

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