Reducing the Suicide Risk of LGBTQ Library Users

SOMORJAI, Noémi (2014) Reducing the Suicide Risk of LGBTQ Library Users. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 151 - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning Users Special Interest Group. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

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Reducing the Suicide Risk of LGBTQ Library Users

Adolescence is a difficult period in the life of many young people even if the gender orientation of the growing individual is solid and straight. Non-heterosexual youth not fitting the gender mainstream are often threatened by their peers, the school, eventually their family and the whole society. According to the surveys, risk behaviour, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and suicides occur more often among LGBTQ youth than heterosexual peers. About 30% of all suicide attempts are committed by LGBTQ youth respectively in their age groups and about one third of all LGBTQ youth have or have had suicidal thoughts or attempts. Registered users on internet community sites are overrepresented considering LGBTQ persons, it is about 30%, compared to their presence in society which is about 10%. Virtual communities have increasing chance for empowerment and skills for self-determination. Public and children’s libraries have a duty in helping these youth to survive and to become healthy adults with a positive self-image and a prosperous life.

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