By Dean Welliver
In the wake of a recent suicide of a transgender male Bakersfield College student, community members gathered in downtown Bakersfield earlier this month to learn about how they can support LGBTQ teens in crisis.
“I was really close to the transgender individual who had committed suicide recently, I just came pretty much to support him,” said one attendee, Casey Walker. “I have had many friends who have committed suicide and the youth today really need all the support and help they can get.”
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth and 41 percent of transgender individuals attempted suicide compared to the 1.8 percent of the general population according to the Trevor Project.
Bakersfield LGBTQ, a local support services network for LGBTQ people, partnered with the national Trevor Project to host the Trevor Lifeguard Workshop, with the aim of building a mental health skill set among youth. The Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention services specifically for LGBTQ youth, presented four workshop presentations on March 1 and the workshop informed participants of common reasons that LGBTQ youth attempt suicide as well as common suicide warning signs and prevention tips.
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