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New Survey Examines Mental Health and Suicidality Among LGBTQ Youth
This week, the Trevor Project released its 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, which revealed not only major harm being done to LGBTQ youth overall, but disproportionate impacts based on race and ethnicity. The survey included responses from 33,993 LGBTQ youth from 13 to 24 years old, and the data was collected from September-December 2021. Among the findings:
Suicidality and Mental Health
"45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year."
"14% of LGBTQ youth attempted suicide in the past year."
"Nearly 1 in 5 transgender and nonbinary youth attempted suicide and LGBTQ youth of color reported higher rates than their white peers."
"LGBTQ youth who felt high social support from their family reported attempting suicide at less than half the rate of those who felt low or moderate social support."
"Fewer than 1 in 3 transgender and nonbinary youth found their home to be gender-affirming."
"LGBTQ youth who found their school to be LGBTQ-affirming reported lower rates of attempting suicide."
"LGBTQ youth who live in a community that is accepting of LGBTQ people reported significantly lower rates of attempting suicide than those who do not."
"Nearly 2 in 5 LGBTQ youth reported living in a community that is somewhat or very unaccepting of LGBTQ people."
"60% of LGBTQ youth who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it."
LGBTQ youth are far more likely to consider or attempt suicide than non-LGBTQ+ youth, but there are major differences between racial and ethnic groups. The percentage who reported attempting suicide in the past year:
12% of white LGBTQ youth and AAPI LGBTQ youth
16% of Latinx LGBTQ youth
17% of LGBTQ youth of more than one race/ethnicity
19% of Black LGBTQ youth
20% of Middle Easter/Northern African LGBTQ youth
21% of Native/Indigenouns LGBTQ youth
"56% of LGBTQ youth reported that their mental health was poor most of the time or always due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including more than 3 in 5 transgender and nonbinary youth and nearly half of cisgender youth."
The impacts of COVID-19 on LGBTQ youth also showed the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on BIPOC. The percentage who reported that a close family member or friend had died due to COVID-19:
14% of white LGBTQ youth
16% of Asian American/Pacific Islander LGBTQ youth
19% of LGBTQ youth of more than one race/ethnicity
22% of Black LGBTQ youth
24% of Middle Eastern/Northern African LGBTQ youth
25% of Latinx LGBTQ youth
27% of Native/Indigenous LGBTQ youth
"36% of LGBTQ youth reported that they have been physically threatened or harmed due to either their sexual orientation or gender identity."
"37% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported that they have been physically threatened or harmed due to their gender identity."
"17% of LGBTQ youth reported being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy."
Being threatened with or subjected to conversion therapy had a major impact on suicidality, with 11% of LGBTQ youth who weren't subjected to or threatened with it attempting suicide in the past year, compared to 27% of those who were threatened with it and 28% of those who were subjected to it.
"89% of LGBTQ youth reported that seeing LGBTQ representation in TV/movies made them feel good about being LGBTQ."
"2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health"
"The Trevor Project’s Annual National Survey Reveals Upward Trend in Suicidal Thoughts Among LGBTQ Youth with Large Disparities for Transgender Youth and LGBTQ Youth of Color"
CDC Data Shows Uptick in COVID-19-Related Hospitalizations and Cases
According to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, admissions of patients to hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 has recently been on the rise, with an increase of 15.7% compared to the previous 7-day average. Hospitalizations have become an even more important measure of how quickly COVID-19 continues to spread, as testing data has become less frequent and reliable, in part due to the increased use of at-home tests. Cases, however, are also increasing, and while massively undercounted, Michigan has averaged 2,297 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, which is a 32% increase from the previous week’s average. Many experts are currently attributing this increase in cases and hospitalizations to new Omicron BA.2 subvariants, particularly BA.2.12.1, which has driven a large increase in cases, particularly in states such as New York. This subvariant, according to CDC projections, now accounts for about 36.5% of all COVID-19 cases per the CDC, and has been shown to be more transmissible than previous variants by a significant amount. Thus far, it does not seem to cause more severe disease, but based on transmissibility, it is unsurprising that cases and hospitalizations are back on the rise.
Impacts of Roe v. Wade Reversal on BIPOC, LGBTQ+ people
The recent leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that shows that the court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, the ruling that allows abortions to legally take place throughout the United States, has made headlines nationwide. What has garnered less attention is the disproportionate impact the ruling would have on BIPOC, as well as the potential impacts it may have on LGBTQ+ people outside of the realm of abortion.
According to CDC data from 2019, non-Hispanic Black women were more than 3.5 times more liklely to have an abortion as non-Hispanic white women (23.8 abortions per 1,000 live births vs. 6.6 abortions per 1,000 live births). Hispanic women were more than 1.7 times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion. Additionally, disparities in financial resources resulting from systemic, historic, and ongoing racism, mean that BIPOC who live in a state where abortions become illegal are less likely to have the money to travel out of state or out of the country to get an abortion where one is legal. Making abortions illegal doesn’t stop abortions - it just makes abortions less safe. BIPOC are going to be more likely to undergo unsafe abortions than white people, meaning that they will end up harmed or dying at disproportionate rates if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Many experts believe that overturning Roe v. Wade will also dramatically weaken the underpinnings of Lawrence v. Texas (which invalidated laws making sodomy illegal) and Obergefell v. Hobbs (which legalized same-sex marriage). Additionally, the reversal of long-standing established precedent in Roe v. Wade by conservative justices seeking to push the country further to the right would be a dramatic step, and re-criminalizing LGBTQ+ identities and people is currently a top priority for Republicans nationwide. A flurry of anti-trans and broader anti-LGBTQ+ laws across the country, which are quickly being challenged in court, will give the Supreme Court immediate access to a case they can use to toss precedent again and give states the right to criminalize sodomy, ban marriages that aren’t between a man and a woman, and more. The draft opinion says that “These attempts to justify abortion through appeals to a broader right to autonomy and to define one's ‘concept of existence’ prove too much.” It is easy to see how conservatives would make the same claims about LGBTQ+ rights.
"Why abortion restrictions disproportionately impact people of color"
"What the Leaked Roe v. Wade Opinion Portends for Queer Americans"
"Jim Obergefell, Whose Lawsuit Legalized Gay Marriage, Speaks Out Against Supreme Court"
WHO Estimates Almost 15 Million Excess Deaths Related to COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020 and 2021
In a recent report from the World Health Organization, it was estimated that there were about 14.9 million excess deaths from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021 during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This estimate is far higher than some other governmental estimates, which put excess deaths closer to 5-6 million. The excess deaths from the WHO in partnership with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) factored in deaths directly attributed to COVID-19, as well as deaths that occurred due to overwhelmed hospital and healthcare systems due to the overflowing amounts of individuals with COVID-19 globally. In addition, they noted 84% of the excess deaths occurred in South-East Asian, Europe, and the Americas, with 68% of the excess deaths occurring in 10 countries globally. This data is important to measure the overall toll of the COVID-19 pandemic and how incredibly severe it has been. It is also important to note that the pandemic is not over and this data does not include anything from 2022. In addition to wearing good masks, continue to socially distance and stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations to protect yourself and others as best as you can!
East Lansing Police Release Video of Police Shooting of DeAnthony VanAtten
On Thursday, the East Lansing Police Department released video of the police shooting of DeAnthony VanAtten, a 20-year-old Black man, at the Lake Lansing Meijer on April 25th. Someone called 911, reporting that a Black man wearing a mask was seen entering the Meijer and that he “pulled a gun out of a car, stuck it in his pocket and went into the store.”
The 911 dispatcher told police “I have a caller that advised for a 20-year-old Black male, he was wearing a yellow and black jacket with a mask covering his whole face except his eyes…pulled a gun out of his car and went inside the store…he's not threatening anybody with it, just walked inside the store…”
Video footage shows that the moment VanAtten came through the first set of doors out of the store, into the entry hallway leading to the doors to the parking lot, an officer pulled a gun on him and yelled “Hey, let me see your fucking hands!” VanAtten ran past him, through the doors, and into the parking lot. Officers then chased him through the parking lot, yelling at him to get on the ground. An officer yelled “he’s got a gun,” before shooting at him. VanAtten then ran across another aisle in the parking lot, at which point another officer shot him twice in the back. VanAtten falls to the ground, screaming, while officers yell at him, “let me see your fucking hands.”
Given the racist history of both the East Lansing Police Department and police in general, it’s reasonable to think that things would have played out very differently had VanAtten not been Black. The two officers who shot at VanAtten are on leave, and have not been identified. The Michigan State Police Department is currently investigating the shooting.
"East Lansing releases video showing police shooting man as investigation continues"
"Press Conference: ELPD April 25 Officer-Involved Shooting Video Release and Briefing - May 5, 2022"
"Person shot by ELPD officers in Lake Lansing Meijer parking lot"
"East Lansing police release footage in officer-involving Meijer shooting"
"Videos show East Lansing police shoot fleeing man in Meijer parking lot"
"BLM: Local cops ‘kidnap’ Lansing man shot at Meijer"
FDA Limits Use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine to Certain Individuals
In a recent press release, the FDA announced it would limit the authorized use of the Janssen (which has also been called Johnson & Johnson or J&J) COVID-19 vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older who would not otherwise have access to a COVID-19 vaccine. Based on updated analysis of safety data, it was determined that there was a rare but increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) in which levels of platelets in blood drop dangerously low. While this was already known, some individuals may have been at increased risk of this side effect and thus the FDA has limited the use of this vaccine. While the FDA acknowledges that maximizing accessibility to COVID-19 vaccines is still crucial, they are taking stricter measures by limiting the use of this vaccine to only those who it is approved for emergency use who would otherwise not have access to other COVID-19 vaccines. This comes as a change to previous recommendations, where mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) were recommended and/or preferred, however the Janssen vaccine use was not necessarily limited. This is also a great example of ongoing data analysis, particularly of safety data regarding vaccines. If you have any other questions or concerns about vaccines, please feel free to reach out or refer to our COVID-19 vaccine resource here!
This Week's QM Round-Up Contributors (in alphabetical order):
Wilfredo Flores (he/him/his), PhD, Writing and Rhetoric, M.A. Technical Communication
Grey L. Pierce (they/them); M.A., Cognitive Psychology; Chair, Power of We Consortium
Francis Yang (he/him/his), M.S.-Global Medicine, Third-year medical student