UW–Madison’s Gill and McQuillan outline results of study on LGBTQ+ teens’ suicide rates in Wisconsin State Journal article

Erin Gill, a doctoral student in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and Mollie McQuillan, an assistant professor in the department, were recently quoted in a Wisconsin State Journal story that featured their study on the relationship between online schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic and suicide rates among LGBTQ+ students in Dane County, Wisconsin.

Mollie McQuillan
Erin Gill

The study, which compared results from the Dane County Youth Assessment from 2018 and 2021, found moves to remote learning during the pandemic may have mitigated some mental health challenges for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and gender-expansive (LGBTQ+) students. However, the study also noted that LGBTQ+ students reported increased anxiety during the same time period.

In the article, Gill said the study reinforces the importance of increasing institutional supports for LGBTQ+ youth in school settings. McQuillan said there should be more support to “disrupt” bullying that’s likely happening again, as students have largely returned to in-person classrooms. 

“Our study highlights that we need additional organizational supports and reforms for queer and trans kids who are getting pushed out of school and aren’t safe in school,” McQuillan said in the article. 

Read the full Wisconsin State Journal article.

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