Implications of the Decline in LGBT Rights for Population Mental Health: Evidence from Polish “LGBT-free zones”
We investigate the consequences of anti-LGBT laws in Poland for suicide attempts and fatalities by applying border-area difference-in-differences models to county-level data. We find that annual suicide attempts increased by 16%, or 5 attempts per 100k capita, after the enactment of anti-LGBT statutes. This rise in suicide attempts was concentrated among men, and was associated with 11 additional suicides per 100k individuals aged 30-49. We also find an increase in suicide attempts in areas that deliberated, but subsequently rejected anti-LGBT resolutions, providing evidence that stigmatization of minority groups leads to declines in population mental health.