Prevalence of Anxiety Disorders in Gay and Lesbian Youth Suicide Could Help
Prevent Suicide - Douglas Study

MONTREAL, Jan. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Researchers from the Douglas Mental Health University Institute have found that young gay and lesbian suicide victims are twelve times more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders and more likely to consult mental health professionals than heterosexual youths.

Furthermore, Johanne Renaud, MD, Msc, medical director of the youth section of the depressive disorders Program at the Douglas, and her coauthors write: "Within the month preceding their deaths, these youth were more likely to have consulted a health professional, a psychiatrist, as well as having been hospitalized,"

Mental health professionals could see this condition as a risk factor for suicide, and, consequently, have the opportunity to act in prevention. This study, published this month in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, is the only Canadian study on sexual orientation and gender identity as risk factors for suicide.

All of the victims in their sample, regardless of sexual orientation, exhibited a similar general psychopathology associated with suicide. This study examined 55 youth who killed themselves and 55 living control subjects. People close to the victims were interviewed in a psychological autopsy. Questions were asked about sexual orientation, gender issues, psychopathological diagnoses, and service use.

The authors

Johanne Renaud, MD, MSc; Marcelo Berlim, MD, MSc; Melissa Begolli, MD; Alexander McGirr, MSc; Gustavo Turecki, MD, PhD.


The study was financed by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ)

Johanne Renaud was supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) salary award.

The researchers warmly thank all families for their unique contribution to their study.

SOURCE Douglas Mental Health University Institute

For further information: For further information: Marie france Coutu, Communications and Public affairs, media relations, (514) 761-6131, ext. 2769, Cell. (514) 835-3236,; Written in collaboration with the Canadian Psychiatry Association

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