May 6, 2004
By Melissa Lauber*
(UMNS) — 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.
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.
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.
is associate editor of UM Connection, the newspaper of the United
Methodist Church’s Baltimore Washington Annual Conference.
News media contact: (412) 325-6080 during General Conference, April 27-May 7. After May 10: (615) 742-5470.