facebook linkedin twitter

Texas Removes LGBTQ Youth Suicide Hotline After Primary Challenger Goads Abbott

October 15, 2021 by Reece Nations

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has taken down a webpage that offered resources to LGBTQ youth after criticism was leveled at Gov. Greg Abbott by a primary challenger for its inclusion.

Former Texas state Sen. Don Huffines, who announced his candidacy for governor in May, issued a rebuke of the resource page on Aug. 31 while admonishing Abbott. As of this week, the resource page was replaced with one that reads “The Texas Youth Connection website has been temporarily disabled for a comprehensive review of its content. This is being done to ensure that its information, resources, and referrals are current.”

“Gov. Abbott’s political appointees who are running the Department of Family and Protective Services have put out and have on their website some very disturbing information,” Huffines said in a video statement. “They are promoting transgender sexual policies… to Texas youth.”

Huffines continued, “This is Texas. These are not Texas values. These are not Republican Party values. But these are obviously Greg Abbott’s values. That’s why we need a change. That’s what my campaign is about.”

Abbott’s duties as governor authorize him to appoint the DFPS commissioner and council to establish the agency’s policies. Internal emails from DFPS officials obtained by The Houston Chronicle show the agency was aware of Huffines’ statement.

The Trevor Project, the nonprofit organization that operates the LGBTQ youth suicide hotline, reported a 150% increase in calls from transgender youth in Texas since the state legislature took up agenda items targeting transgender youth this year, according to LGBTQ Nation.

In a May survey of LGBTQ youth with a history of foster care, The Trevor Project reported 45% of respondents who attended a school that was not LGBTQ-affirming attempted suicide in the past year, compared to 26% of respondents who had attended an LGBTQ-affirming school. Further, LGBTQ youth who had reported being in foster care had three times greater odds of reporting a suicide attempt in the past year in comparison to those who had not.

The Texas legislature failed earlier this year to pass legislation that would have instituted extensive bans on transition-related medical care for transgender youth including gender-affirming care. However, on Thursday the Texas House successfully passed legislation that would prohibit transgender students from participating in school sports teams aligned with their gender identity.

“Extremists in our Legislature have continuously leveraged cruel rhetoric and rampant misinformation to coordinate this attack on the transgender community — young children in particular — and have sent a clear message that Texas is not a safe place for them to live,” Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas, said in a written statement on the bill’s passage.

Martinez continued, “Throughout four traumatizing legislative sessions, we’ve seen increased requests for help from families facing anti-LGBTQ+ threats as a result of this hostile climate. The ‘debate’ over this anti-transgender bill is already exacerbating intolerance, fueling discrimination, and solidifying Texas’ reputation as the leading state for violence against trans people.”

A+
a-

Mental Health

November 17, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
House Panel Seeks Better Interventions To Prevent Veteran Suicides

WASHINGTON — The heartrending subject of veteran suicide was again front and center on Capitol Hill Wednesday as a House... Read More

WASHINGTON — The heartrending subject of veteran suicide was again front and center on Capitol Hill Wednesday as a House panel heard one heartbreaking story after another about young people who placed themselves in harm’s way for their country only to return home and take their... Read More

November 17, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Health Officials Address What To Do If You Lose Your Vaccination Card

WASHINGTON —Many public health departments across the country are experiencing increasing calls from individuals who have lost their vaccination cards... Read More

WASHINGTON —Many public health departments across the country are experiencing increasing calls from individuals who have lost their vaccination cards and are seeking a replacement. "Our department receives, on average, 60 requests for replacement vaccination cards each week. This number has remained steady for the last... Read More

November 10, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
White House Issues New Guidance for Combating Veteran Suicides

WASHINGTON — The White House recently issued evidence-informed guidance for reducing the tragedy of veteran suicides, as 65,000 veterans have... Read More

WASHINGTON — The White House recently issued evidence-informed guidance for reducing the tragedy of veteran suicides, as 65,000 veterans have died by suicide since 2010.  "Suicide among service members, veterans, and their families is a public health and national security crisis. Far too many of our... Read More

November 10, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
How the Mission Act is Negatively Impacting Veteran Access to Health Care

WASHINGTON — The Mission Act was launched in 2019 to protect veterans' access to health care, but now health policy... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Mission Act was launched in 2019 to protect veterans' access to health care, but now health policy experts are finding that the legislation may actually be preventing access. “Veterans who need to go to [into] the community are not getting care, or getting... Read More

November 8, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Murray Moves to Make Daylight Savings Time Permanent

WASHINGTON — During a floor speech last week, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., urged the Senate to pass legislation which would... Read More

WASHINGTON — During a floor speech last week, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., urged the Senate to pass legislation which would eliminate the “fall back” of daylight savings time which happens each November.  “Beyond convenience, this really is a matter of health and safety. Studies have shown... Read More

November 3, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Legislators Address Increase in Domestic Violence from COVID-19

WASHINGTON — The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in domestic violence, and now legislators like Rep. Debbie Dingell,... Read More

WASHINGTON — The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in domestic violence, and now legislators like Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., who is a survivor of domestic violence, are pushing to advance policies to end the abuse.  “We have seen very, very, very significant increases in... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top