Transgender teens in Texas throughout the United States are at significantly greater risk of death by suicide. In fact, a 2011 study of 6,450 people published by the National Center for Transgender Equality revealed that as many as 41 percent of gender nonconforming individuals tried to die by suicide. A suicide attorney in Texas knows that family support can help bring down the suicide death rates among this specific demographic, but the risk of suicidal ideation and death by suicide still remains higher than the general population.
Transgender individuals may be especially vulnerable as teenagers, a time when their bodies will start changing in ways they do not want it to and a time when they may be forced to cope with cruelty from peers. Parents and caregivers can sometimes help kids through this difficult time period by providing children with the counseling they need to manage their feelings. However, counselors need to be trained, qualified and capable of recognizing when someone is having thoughts of suicide so appropriate action can be taken to prevent a tragedy from occurring.
Counselors Could Help to Save the Lives of Those Considering Death by Suicide
The recent suicide of an Ohio teenager has brought the issue of transgender teen suicide to the forefront, with many mainstream news media publications covering the story and with vocal groups of people actually condemning the parents of the teen who was killed.
The death was announced first by the child’s mother as the death of her “son.” The child was anatomically male but the child believed that this was the inappropriate gender. Before dying by suicide by jumping in front of a large truck, the teen had posted a suicide note that would publish after her death. The note has been reposted hundreds of times in newspapers and across websites. In it, the teen explained feeling depression at the idea of not being able to transition or ever find love. The teen also exhibited frustration at what she perceived to be the lack of support from her parents.
The teen’s mother has given conflicting accounts of what occurred, denying much of what was in the suicide note, according to CNN. Because there are two sides to every story, it is not clear exactly how much information published in the suicide note was a 100 percent accurate depiction of the relationship between the teen and her parents. As we all know perceptions trump reality. Themes that the note did repeatedly mention, however, involved the teen’s frustration before her suicide about only being taken to religious counselors who were judgmental and not supportive of someone with gender identity issues.
If this is in fact the case, then these counselors may not have done their jobs and may have let their patient down in important ways. Whether a mental health counselor agrees with a person’s lifestyle or not, it is not the job of the counselor to judge, nor fail to properly assess this high risk group for suicide. This is true whether the patient is experiencing a gender identity crisis, depression or has other types of mental health concerns. A qualified counselor will listen and provide appropriate therapy. A qualified counselor should also be able to recognize when someone is depressed to the point of contemplating suicide so that the counselor can get the patient help.
A suicide attorney at the Law Offices of Skip Simpson can help. Call (214) 618-8222 or visit www.skipsimpson.com to schedule a free case consultation.