In the midst of news that so often is troubling, I was quite excited this week to come across the Bloomberg School’s press release on a significant decrease in adolescent suicide attempts. In research published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics, Julia Raifman, ScD, a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology, looked at adolescent suicide attempts in the U.S. by state from January 1, 1999 to December 31, 2015. Her research team found a direct correlation between the decrease in adolescent suicide attempts and when states legalized same-sex marriage. She estimates there were more than 134,000 fewer suicide attempts. Generally, this was a seven percent decrease in high school student suicide attempts.
The decrease in adolescent suicide, while reducing the overall number, still leaves gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents in the highest population of adolescent suicide attempts. The research was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Read Raifman’s full article on her research.