TORONTO: Egale Canada Human Rights Trust (ECHRT) and Ryerson University will host the first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth Suicide Prevention Summit on May 30 – 31, 2012. The first of its kind in Canada, the summit will gather experts from North America to talk about the problem of teen suicide.


“LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers and nine times more likely when they’ve been rejected by their families,” said Helen Kennedy, executive director, ECHRT. “This summit is about addressing these and other staggering statistics on youth suicide and taking concrete action to support a prevention strategy.”


“Getting action and results on the issue of teen suicide in the LGBT community requires the collaborative efforts of a wide spectrum of professionals and practitioners,” said Alan Shepard, provost and vice president academic at Ryerson University. “This summit is an opportunity to bring together a critical mass of interested people, focus on the problem, and arrive at recommendations that will lead to positive change.”


Throughout the two-day event at Ryerson, high-level academics, practitioners and policy makers will engage in work groups focused on key risk factors, points of intervention, challenges and potential North American partnerships, culminating in the creation of concrete recommendations for a strategy to prevent suicide among youth. Organizers also hope to use the summit as a way to bring attention to Canadian teens whose lives have been lost, including Jamie Hubley.


With the support of TD Bank Group, an evening reception on May 30 will unite instrumental community leaders with summit attendees. Hosted by John Moore of Newstalk1010, the reception will include a guest appearance by John Amaechi, commonly regarded as one of the world’s most high-profile gay athletes.
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Egale Canada is Canada’s LGBT human rights organization: advancing equality, diversity, education, and justice.


For more information:
Helen Kennedy
Egale Canada
416-270-1999/416-964-7887 ext. 21
185 Carlton Street Toronto, ON M5A 2K7