California is set to become the first American state to collect data on LGBTQ+ citizens dying by suicide.
The move will be a historic one as it will also track cases of anti-transgender homicide, meaning California would be the first state to do so.
Gavin Newsom, the state’s governor, will receive Assembly Bill 1094 to sign it into law after it unanimously passed both houses of the state legislature earlier this year.
The Bill says it would create a pilot program to run in six of the state’s counties to train “coroners and medical examiners how to gather mortality data with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity”.
Those in favour of the legislation believe it will help authorities sensitively enquire about whether or not a victim was LGBTQ+ when talking to friends and family of the deceased.
According to America’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the second leading cause of death for those aged 10 to 24 is suicide.
Focusing solely on LGBTQ+ youth will enable data to become more reliable and reflective of the state of suicide in the country.
In May, a report by The Trevor Project concluded that 42% of those surveyed had toyed with the idea of suicide in the last year.
The LGBTQ+ community is hard hit by thoughts of suicide and, according to an independent study from Just Like Us, young people in the community are twice as likely to contemplate suicide than their non-LGBTQ+ peers.
Statistics from the International Association for Suicide Prevention show how serious the issue is, as over 700,000 people die by suicide globally each year – equating to one every 40 seconds.
The number of suicides is much higher among males than females across all age groups across the world and in the UK alone, men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women.
According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, we can all take action to change the course of someone’s life.
They recommend looking out for those who are not coping by identifying signs such as hopelessness, rage, uncontrolled anger, a desire for revenge or engaging in dangerous activities.
An individual suffering from depression is 20 times more likely to die by suicide than someone without the disorder, highlighting the need to help those who need it.