Framework in Action
Understanding and Supporting the Mental Health of LGBTQ Students in Bridgeport, Connecticut

National data suggests that LGBTQ youth are at greater risk than their peers for mental health challenges, including depression and suicide. To better understand and support the mental health of LGBTQ students in Bridgeport, Connecticut, school and community leaders collected quantitative data on the health risks for these students, conducted focus groups, shared findings with stakeholders, and conducted two regional conferences. Analysis of the Connecticut Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed that compared to students who self-identified as heterosexual, youth who self-identified as LGBTQ:

  • reported almost 2 times more bullying in the past year
  • reported 1 or more past year suicide attempts, 3.5 times the rate of heterosexual students
  • reported 2 times the rate of some type of past month illicit drug use
  • reported 1.5 times the rate of past month alcohol use
  • reported almost 2 times the rate of being kicked out or running away from home

Focus group findings revealed that:

  • Few staff allies ever address gender/sexuality slurs
  • Gay males have less peer acceptance than gay females
  • Transgender students have the least acceptance