Gay-straight alliances reduce suicide rates: UBC study

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Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, a professor at the UBC School of Nursing who leads various studies on health issues on youth.
Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, a professor at the UBC School of Nursing who leads various studies on health issues on youth.

recent UBC study said gay-straight alliances have positive impacts on the health of LGBTQ students. Following the release of the study, the Langara Students’ Union also hosted a mingler to bring together LGBTQ students on campus.

Gay-straight alliances reduce suicide attempts, improve mental health

Elizabeth Saewyc, UBC professor and lead author of the study, said gay-straight alliances significantly reduce suicidal thoughts and attempts among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer students.

The study also suggests student-led alliances improve LGBTQ students’ mental health.

“If you don’t feel safe in school, you have trouble learning. It not only affects your health, but it also affects your future in terms of education,” said Saewyc. “If you don’t feel connected to your school, feel like you belong at school, that also has a huge impact on your mental health and well-being and your school success.”

Queer committee at Langara

The LSU also has a queer committee that provides community resources, safer sex materials, queer-themed books, and organizes social events for LGBTQ students both on and off campus.

Catherine Mateo, a transgendered student studying women’s studies and business presentation at Langara, said she feels comfortable on campus.

“I think [Langara] is great,” she said.

But even though Mateo believes Langara is making an effort to make the LGBTQ community feel more comfortable on campus, she said more needs to be done.

“I just wish the registrar’s office would use preferred names, “ she said, adding that it would make her and other transgender students feel more comfortable if professors recognized students’ preferred names while taking attendance.

Reported by Edrick Dudang

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