Washington, DC – In the wake of the tragic loss of Nex Benedict, AAS urges communities to come together and take meaningful action to prevent further instances of bullying and LGBTQ+ youth suicides. While Nex’s passing is deeply saddening, it serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for collective efforts to foster safety, understanding, and acceptance for all.

Nex’s story underscores the critical importance of addressing the pervasive issue of bullying in our schools and communities. Bullying can have devastating effects, particularly on LGBTQ+ youth, who often face heightened risks and challenges. It is incumbent upon all of us to recognize the signs of bullying and intervene proactively to create environments where every individual feels valued and supported.

“We mourn the loss of Nex Benedict and extend our heartfelt condolences to their loved ones,” said Leeann Sherman, President & CEO of AAS. “Their passing compels us to recommit ourselves to the work of creating inclusive spaces where LGBTQ+ youth can thrive without fear of discrimination or harm.”

Creating a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ youth requires a concerted effort from everyone. Each of us has a role to play in reducing stigma, promoting acceptance, and fostering empathy. By actively engaging in conversations, advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, and standing up against discrimination, we can collectively work towards a future where every young person feels affirmed in their identity and experiences a sense of belonging.

“We cannot afford to be passive bystanders,” emphasized Sherman. “Now more than ever, we must stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ youth and demonstrate our unwavering commitment to their well-being.”

AAS calls upon individuals, schools, and communities to take concrete steps towards creating safer, more inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ youth. Whether it is implementing anti-bullying policies, offering resources and support services, or fostering dialogue and education on LGBTQ+ issues, there are countless ways to make a positive impact.

As we mourn the loss of Nex Benedict, let us honor their memory by turning our grief into action. Together, we can build a future where every young person feels seen, heard, and valued for who they are.

For more information on how you can get involved or support our efforts, visit suicidology.org or contact communications@suicidology.org.

If you are currently experiencing a crisis, in need of help or know someone who does, contact your local crisis line or contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline via text or dial 9-8-8 or visit 988lifeline.org.