Barker, Michael, Knoll, Benjamin, Parkinson, Daniel
The LGBTQ Mormon Crisis : Responding to the Empirical Research on Suicide
Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought
The November 2015 LDS handbook policy change that identified members who participate in same-sex marriages as "apostates" and forbade children in their households from receiving baby blessings or baptisms sparked ongoing attention to the topic of LGBTQ Mormon well-being, mental health, and suicides. When talking about LGBTQ youth suicides in our LDS community, we need to make sure we are working with the best empirical evidence available, and we need to be certain that the evidence presented is being interpreted correctly. Otherwise poor government policies will be put in place that may offer no benefit or might even exacerbate the problem. This article will look at five questions that need to be considered in this very important public health issue:
What direct empirical evidence is available regarding LGBTQ youth suicides? What is the indirect evidence? What is the anecdotal evidence? What conclusions can we draw taking into account the limitations of empirical, inferred, and anecdotal evidence? What preventive measures should be implemented while we are waiting for more definitive empirical evidence?