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Teen Sexual Identity and Suicide Risk

In the year 2003 at least 700,000 high school students will attempt suicide-one in every 13 high school students in the United States. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates among adults have steadied or even declined over the past few decades but teenage suicide rates have tripled.

A 1989 US Department of Health and Human Services study found that teens dealing with issues of sexual identity are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than are other youth.

The United Methodist Church, in Social Principles ¶ 162H, states: Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for homosexual persons.

The General Conference will establish and fund a task group which will:

  • Publish, in laypeople's terms, a summary of current research on homosexual youth at risk for suicide;

  • Work with organizations currently doing research on these issues;

  • Provide a directory of agencies working on issues of teen suicide among youth dealing with issues of sexual identity;

  • Publish a resource for congregations and families which provides accurate information, recommendations for programs, and pastoral guidance.

  • Make recommendations for legislative actions within The United Methodist Church;

  • Make recommendations for programs for youth through congregations, districts, conferences, mission agencies, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men and other organizational bodies of The United Methodist Church.

  • Report to the 2008 General Conference on its findings and work.

Adopted 2004
readopted 2008
resolution #158, 2004 Book of Resolutions

See Social Principles, ¶¶ 161F and N.

From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2008. Copyright © 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.