LGBTQ elders are at high risk of social isolation, loneliness and suicide
September is National Suicide Prevention month, and one population sometimes overlooked are LGBTQ elders.
Eireanne Russ is with Southern Arizona Senior pride in Tucson. Russ is trans and well aware of the risks when it comes to aging.
"I think a bigger issue among LGBT seniors than heterosexual and cisgender seniors is that many of us have had to consider going back in the closet in order to receive assistance or in order to go seek help as we get older," she said.
That, plus other factors, including higher rates of social isolation, depression and anxiety, can lead to increased suicidal thoughts.
Suicide attempts among the transgender community are historically at 40% or higher.
For those 65 and older, it’s likely even higher, according to the LGBTQ-elder advocacy group SAGE.