Former NFL star Ryan O’Callaghan has restarted the conversation about gay male suicide, as he discussed his own plans before coming out. Unfortunately, he is not the first and will not be the last homosexual to consider, attempt or commit this act. The reasons why one would take his own life are numerous but the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some important research we wanted to share.

Males in the United States are more likely to take their own life at nearly four times the rate of females and represent 79% of all U.S. suicides. Suicide is the seventh leading cause of death for males in the United States. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are at even greater risk for suicide attempts, especially before the age of 25. A study of youth in grades 7-12 found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide as their heterosexual peers. Some risk factors are linked to being gay or bisexual in a hostile environment and the effects that this has on mental health.

But, this is not just an American issue. The Gay Activist has been addressing this issue from the United Kingdom for almost 20 years.

“Young gay men are 30 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts: some have made as many as nine unsuccessful attempts to kill themselves. The highest rates of suicide are among those who are isolated from support.”

Here are the warning signs:

Have you or someone you know felt…?

  • Unimportant
  • Trapped
  • Hopeless
  • Overwhelmed
  • Unmotivated
  • Alone
  • Irritable
  • Impulsive
  • Suicidal

Do you or someone you know…?

  • Not care about their future: “It won’t matter soon anyway.”
  • Put themselves down – and think they deserve it: “I don’t deserve to live. I suck.”
  • Express hopelessness: “Things will never get better for me.”
  • Say goodbye to important people: “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. I’ll miss you.”
  • Have a specific plan for suicide: “I’ve thought about how I’d do it.”
  • Talk about feeling suicidal: “LIfe is so hard. Lately I’ve felt like ending it all.”

Have you or someone you know been…?

  • Using drugs or alcohol more than usual
  • Acting differently than usual
  • Giving away their most valuable possessions
  • Losing interest in their favorite things to do
  • Admiring people who have died by suicide
  • Planning for death by writing a will or letter
  • Eating or sleeping more or less than usual
  • Feeling more sick, tired or achy than usual

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing support for our community in the fight for suicide prevention.

  • If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then you are not alone. We are here for you 24/7 on the Trevor Lifeline (866-488-7386) – that means all day and night, every weekend, each holiday, and beyond.
  • If you recognize these signs in someone you know, encourage them to ask for help. If they need support, empower them to call the Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386 to talk with a trained volunteer counselor. Trevor is here 24/7 – that means all day and night.

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