Today marks the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day, and a new campaign that focuses on supporting queer and trans youth at risk of suicide features Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander.
Helmed by British queer publication The Gay Times and U.K. helpline Switchboard, Alexander poses with a Pride flag with the red and blue stripes — which symbolize life and harmony — torn off to commemorate LGBT youth who have attempted suicide.
“This is the flag we shouldn’t be proud of,” says Alexander, before citing devastating statistics about suicide among LGBT people, including the fact that over 35 percent of LGBT youth have experienced suicidal ideation due to discrimination and mental health struggles. The severed flag, in effect, symbolizes the 2 in 6 LGBT people who attempt suicide.
“As we mark the 40th anniversary of the original Pride flag, let it remind us of how far we’ve come, but also of the work we have to do to keep our communities safe and well,” he continues. “Help us break the silence and save our LGBTQ youth from disappearing.”
Watch the video below:
This #WorldSuicidePreventionDay we’re raising awareness of the 2 in 6 LGBTQ people who attempt suicide by removing 2 stripes from the iconic pride flag which symbolise Life and Harmony. Help us speak out and prevent these young lives from disappearing ?———- pic.twitter.com/r49HUQtSJD
— Years & Years (@yearsandyears) September 10, 2018
If you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of suicide or other personal crises, there are safe, free resources available to guide you through difficult periods. Contact the Trevor Project‘s TrevorLifeLine at 1-866-488-7386, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK, or the Crisis Text Line at 741741.