A new study by the Williams Institute states that lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals were more likely to subsequently attempt suicide after seeking counseling from a religious or spiritual adviser than those who did not seek help at all. That doesn't necessarily mean it causes suicide, but the association is troubling, says a new study.
This study's timing is very interesting coming on the heels of my coming out diary and those of others on dkos.
From the Advocate:
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who sought mental health counseling from a religious or spiritual adviser were more likely to subsequently attempt suicide than those who sought no treatment at all, says a new study from the Williams Institute.You can find the study here.
The study, released by the think tank today, found that LGB people who received therapy from a medical or mental health professional were no less likely to attempt suicide than those who did not seek help, but assistance from faith-based counselors was associated with higher suicide risk.
“The findings are troubling because seeking treatment is a recommended suicide prevention strategy and this study results show no more positive effect for people who sought treatment,” said coauthor Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D., a senior scholar of public policy at the institute, in a press release. “More troubling is the finding that individuals who sought religious or spiritual treatment had higher odds of later attempting suicide than those who did not seek treatment at all.”
“More studies are needed to assess the efficacy of treatment for LGB people with suicidal ideation in preventing future suicide attempts,” he continued. “But, even without further study, public health officials and health service providers ought to ensure that LGB individuals who seek mental health treatment, whether it is in medical or religious settings, receive competent mental health services that is relevant to their needs.”