SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — An effort to help Mormon parents understand how to react to LGBT offspring that launched in 2012 is being expanded, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
The Family Acceptance Project, using research that finds children of accepting and loving families are less likely to become homeless and commit suicide, hired a new national program director, Rev. Marian Edmonds Allen, and plans to broaden its efforts, the Tribune reports.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Utah youth ages 10-17 and young adults ages 18-24 — higher than the national average. Studies have found that LGBT youth are at least three times more likely than straight youth to attempt suicide and about four times more likely to make a medically serious suicide attempt, Edmonds Allen told the paper.
More than 5,000 youth are estimated to experience homelessness in Utah per year. Of these, at least 40 percent are LGBT and the majority are from religious and socially conservative families, with 60 percent from Mormon homes, the Tribune reports.