For those that don’t know, the general rate of suicide attempts for transgender people in the United States is around 41%. A recent analysis of the data shows that for some subgroups, the rate is as high as 60%.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Now consider that the incidence of transgenderism is around 200 per 100,000. As a point of reference, that’s an incidence rate almost seven times higher than Multiple Sclerosis, which is 30 per 100,000.
With a U.S. population of 314 million, that works out to roughly 628,000 transgender adults, and a lower bound of around 257,000 transgender people who try to take their own lives every year.
In 2010, 465,000 people visited U.S. emergency rooms for self-harm injuries (many likely attempted suicides, but it’s unclear which were attempted suicides vs. other behavior).
The math here is telling me that 55% of all self-harm emergency room visits are by transgender people.
If we truly want to help those in the community that are hurting the most, we must go into hospital emergency rooms and provide support there. We must educate emergency room staff about us. We must have critical care curricula and training include trans issues. We must build a support network from the ambulances to the trauma rooms to the counseling rooms.
We must let those most in need know that while being trans can be hard, there is also joy. That if their family and friends turn their back on them, there are many who have gone before who will extend a hand or provide a shoulder to cry on. That they do have a future, that it is possible, that they are loved.
Our charge is to teach, to guide, and to lead urgent care medical responders in saving lives.
I have the beginnings of a plan, which I’ll share in the coming days. Help will be needed for talking and teaching. No shouting or protesting required.
We can literally save lives if we have the will. The need is acute. Will you help?