Suicide is the leading cause of death for homeless youth, with more than 70% reporting suicidal thoughts and around 50% having a history of suicide attempts. This means that homeless youth are 4 times more likely to have attempted suicide than non-homeless youth. LGBT homeless youth have even higher rates and are twice as likely to die by suicide as homeless heterosexual youth.
Foster care youth are at tremendous risk as well. Foster care youth are 3x more likely to significantly consider suicide, 4x more likely to have made a suicide attempt in the past 12 months and 5x more likely to be hospitalized following a suicide attempt when compared to non-foster care youth. Youth involved in the child welfare system experience higher rates of mental illness and substance use as well.