Professing a belief in the sanctity of human life, United Methodist delegates at the General Conference voted May 6 to create a task force to study teen sexual identity and suicide risk.
Government studies show that last year, 1 in every 13 U.S. high school students attempted suicide. Teens dealing with issues of sexual identity are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than other youth.
The task force, which has been allotted $375,000 for its efforts, will publish a summary of research on this issue and a resource for congregations and families to assist them in addressing teen suicide.
Delegates reminded those assembled that sexual identity is not the only cause of teen suicide.
The task force will report back to the 2008 General Conference.
*Lauber is associate editor of UM Connection, the newspaper of the United Methodist Church’s Baltimore Washington Annual Conference.
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