Nearly half of LGBTQ teenagers in Japan considered suicide in the past year at 48 percent, 3.8 times higher than the overall figure for their age group, results from a recent survey showed.

The survey, conducted by ReBit, a nonprofit organization that supports LGBTQ youth, also showed 14 percent of teenagers surveyed had attempted to take their own lives.


The head of the NPO, Mika Yakushi, said authorities at the municipal and national levels should "understand the risks LGBTQ youth face and incorporate them in countermeasures to prevent suicide, loneliness and isolation."

The survey conducted in September received valid responses from some 2,600 people between the ages of 12 and 34, with the results highlighting that although social awareness of LGBTQ issues is increasing, many of those going through puberty cannot go to their parents or teachers for guidance and are left without the appropriate support.

The figures are also about four times higher than the results from a survey conducted last year by the philanthropic Nippon Foundation. But the data also showed a tendency for the rates of suicide contemplation and attempts to decline for young people who had a safe place to seek advice.

Among the respondents, 91.6 percent felt they could not ask their parent or guardian for advice, while 93.6 percent of students felt they could not talk to their educators.

Close to 30 percent of teenagers and people in their 20s who identified as a sexual minority, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer, among others, reported feeling lonely, significantly higher than government data on the two age groups overall.

Among the respondents' comments, one said their sexuality was not understood by their teachers and had been told it was a "temporary delusion of puberty." Another answered they could not say what clothes they wanted to wear because they had not come out to their parents.

Emergency service in Japan: 119

If you are having suicidal thoughts, help is available.

For Japan, call Yorisoi Hotline at 0120279338 (toll-free). Press 2 after the recorded message for consultation in English, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Nepali, or Indonesian. The service in these languages is also available on Facebook messenger.

For those outside Japan, you can find a list of other resources here