AUGUSTA, Ga.- “When you think about the LGBTQ community compared to heterosexual identified individuals, they tend to have about five times the rate of suicide attempts,” says Dr. Dale Peeples, Augusta University Pediatric Psychiatrist.
Augusta is celebrating a decade of pride and this weekend is an opportunity to raise awareness of the increased suicide rates for people in the LGBTQ Community.
“External pressures are put on them, which include increased rates of harrassment and bullyin,” says Dr. Peeples.
Those factors play a role, but Augusta University Psychiatrist Dr. Dale Peeple’s says members also have to learn to accept who they are.
“Sometimes you’re going to have kids that are brought up in community that isn’t receptive of homosexuality. And they can internalize that as homophobia, so it can be a real struggle to not be able to accept yourself,” says Dr. Peeples.
Which experts tell us can lead to depression and suicide.
“Many people do talk about suicide before making the attempt,” says Dr. Peeples.
Doctor Peeple’s says open dialogue along with support acceptance can help bring down the higher suicide rate.
“We need to make sure these individuals have access to healthcare. The hospital here has equality clinic to provide resources to those folks in the community that are uninsured,” says Dr. Peeples.