U-M Counseling and Psychological Services

Suicide touches all races, ethnicities, abilities, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, nationalities, religions, and veteran status.  All Individuals are unique and have intersecting identities. When we don’t acknowledge the identities impacted by suicide, we enable the stigma that keeps too many silent and possibly disregard the specific needs of individuals.  While the list on this page may not be exhaustive, we hope to share statistics and ways you can support someone who is from a different identity than yours.

  • National Data
  • UM Specific Data (% of students who reported thoughts of ending life: UM College Student Mental Health Survey Phase V)
    • Transgender/gender-fluid gender identity: 64%
    • Bisexual identity: 45%
    • Questioning Sexual Orientation: 45%
    • Gay Identity: 37%
    • Lesbian Identity: 25%
    • First Generation Students: 26%
    • Students with Disabilities: 43%
    • Multiracial Identity: 31%
    • Asian American Identity: 30%
    • African American Identity: 23%
    • International Identity: 22%
    • Latinx Identity: 21%
  • 5 Tips For Supporting Those Who Have A Different Identity Than Your Own
    • Educate yourself and try to know what you don’t know. Don’t rely on the person you are supporting to educate you on their identity.
    • Understand that identity may affect (mistrust and stigma) a person from asking for help and who they ask for help. This is a not something to argue against, rather genuinely seek to understand where this may be coming from and be open to learning.
    • See identity as a possible strength or protective factor. Many people are proud of where they come from and can lean on that pride for sources of hope.
    • If you find yourself having a hard time understanding someone you are trying to support, ask yourself if it may be your own identity lens that is getting in the way. Then, regroup and genuinely show interest and compassionately seek to understand where they may be coming from.
    • Ask yourself, am I a safe person? As much as you want to help, you may not be perceived as a safe support. Ask if there is someone else they may feel more comfortable talking to.