Study: LGBQ teens have an elevated suicide risk

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PATCHOGUE -

LGBQ teenagers are at much greater risk of suicide than heterosexual teens, according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

According to the study, a quarter of LGBQ teens attempted suicide in 2015, compared to 6 percent of heterosexual teens.

David Kilmnick, of Long Island's LGBT Network, said the number was alarming. 

"There's less acceptance at home, there's less acceptance in their communities," he said. 

Madeline Bruni, of Mastic, says she endured constant bullying by her classmates at Patchogue-Medford High School. She says it made her contemplate suicide during her junior year. 

"I go out in the world everyday expecting a snicker or a stare," she said. 

Bruni says she survived with help from a high school counselor and a LGBQ support group. Kilmnick says it's going to take a lot more to make young LGBQ Long Islanders feel truly accepted.  

"It's really going to take a village, and that village includes not only our schools, but…our places of worship...our homes…and Main Street everywhere on Long Island," he said. 

Superintendent Michael Hynes with Patchogue-Medford schools says support is available in the district for LGBQ students, but admits more can be done. He says they are exploring new ideas to help their most vulnerable students.

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