Good morning Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee. I am Dana Garrett of the Creigton University. Our facility works closely with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community to improve health disparities through policy improvement. I am here today because suicide rates are steadily increasing amongst LGBT youth and it is gone nearly unnoticed. Our nation is steadily losing potentially great leaders to the idea that suicide is the solution to their daily problems. Ultimately we are failing the future of the nation and most importantly failing our youth.
Before I give you a brief description of suicide and provide data illustrating the burden that this disparity is having on LGBT youth, …show more content…
Suicide ultimately takes a huge toll on the economy and social environments. Surviving family members and friends are often “… deeply impacted by each suicide and experience a range of complex grief reactions including, guilt, anger, denial, helplessness, and shock” (CDC, ).
Some of you still may be unmoved by the benefits of helping LGBT youth. However, economically, the average suicide costs $1,164, 499.00 and every year $44.6 billion is paid by society to cover medical and work loss costs (CDC, 2015). Although data is limited for the LGBT community, researchers have suggested that “homosexual youth may represent up to thirty percent of youth suicides” and suicide remains the leading cause of death within this population (SPRC, 2008). In addition, many families of victims have filed lawsuits against various social structures that facilitated an environment that allowed harassment and violence to occur. Typically, their settlements ranged from forty-thousand to one million dollars per (SPRC, 2008). Now I ask you to consider the potential savings that could be achieved if two lives are saved every year. Based on the average suicide cost per year and the lowest settlement granted, that would be $2,408,998.00 and over a ten year span $24,089,980.00. That is nearly twenty-five million that can be funneled back into the pocket’s of millions of Americans to strengthen our