Homelessness, Mental Health and Suicidality Among LGBTQ Youth Accessing Crisis Services [2018]

LGBTQ youth experience increased risks of homelessness, mental health disorder symptoms, and suicidality. Utilizing data from LGBTQ youth contacting a suicide crisis services organization, this study examined: (a) rates of homelessness among crisis services users, (b) the relationship between disclosure of LGBTQ identity to parents and parental rejection and homelessness, and (c) the relationship between homelessness and mental health disorder outcomes and suicidality. A nationwide sample of LGBTQ youth was recruited for a confidential online survey from an LGBTQ-focused crisis services hotline. Overall, nearly one-third of youth contacting the crisis services hotline had experienced lifetime homelessness, and those who had disclosed their LGBTQ identity to parents or experienced parental rejection because of LGBTQ status experienced higher rates of homelessness. Youth with homelessness experiences reported more symptoms of several mental health disorders and higher rates of suicidality. Suggestions for service providers are discussed.

Harmony Rhoades, Joshua A. Rusow, David Bond, Amy Lanteigne, Anthony Fulginiti, Jeremy T. Goldbach
Child Psychiatry & Human Development, August 2018, Volume 49, Issue 4