Youth suicide rates on the rise among LGBT teens

Shara Dae Howard
July 30, 2018 - 7:26 pm
The number of suicides among youth in the Philadelphia area is growing.

Shara Dae Howard | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The number of suicides among youth in the Philadelphia area is growing, and the city is working hard to lower that number by focusing on at-risk youth. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT. Tito Valdes, assistant city solicitor in the city's Law Department, said these factors contribute greatly to youth suicide rates, so Philadelphia is taking aim at those numbers by addressing the needs of those most vulnerable.

"LGBT teens, LGBT teens of color and particularly the trans community — 40 percent is the consistent metric that we see in the studies," he said.

Unlike some other cities, Valdes said Philadelphia is progressive and has a number of resources for youth.

"The Attic Youth Center, the William Way [LGBT Community] Center is a great repository of info in terms of LGBT resources available, not only to kids but also for foster parents," he added.

Valdes said the way the city is trying to educate everyone from judges to social workers on the needs of LGBT youth.