Shining a Light on Suicide Prevention: World Suicide Prevention Day

Today (10 September 2020) marks World Suicide Prevention Day across the globe and provides a unique opportunity to collectively shine a light on suicide prevention, to help save lives.

Harnessing this momentum is critical to ensure productive and meaningful solutions are put in place to drive suicide rates down. Suicide is a prominent community concern in Australia with the ABS reporting 3,046 deaths by suicide in 2018. Globally, it is responsible for over 800,000 deaths. 

LGBTI people still experience a higher risk of suicidal behaviours than non-LGBTI people. This can be attributed to the impact of minority stress - the chronic stressors that LGBTI people are uniquely exposed to, including experiences of discrimination, social exclusion, harassment and physical violence.

“We still do not know how many LGBTI people die by suicide,” Nicky Bath, CEO of the Alliance, stated.

“Australia urgently needs population-level data and accurate recording of deaths by suicide through counting LGBTI people by improving data collection by coroners as well as service level data to inform policy, service and program development.”

As we shine a light on LGBTI Suicide Prevention, the Alliance is developing a literature review on LGBTI best practice in Suicide Prevention. This literature review is a small step in adding to the much-needed evidence base that will assist us in being better able to meet our communities’ needs.

In addition to this resource, we are currently working on updating our LGBTI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy, which was first released in 2017. Consultations have taken place with key stakeholders and members. We are now extending this consultation to the broader community via an online survey. We encourage people interested in updates on our mental health and suicide prevention research to subscribe at: https://www.lgbtihealth.org.au/mental_health_research_rego

This year has proved a challenging year for our communities. Physical distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, increased risk of social isolation and loneliness, closure of community and cultural spaces, and barriers to finding comfort and support from families of choice, have risked compounding existing mental health issues.

“World Suicide Prevention Day is a timely reminder to be aware of others around us who may be doing it tough. We can all make a difference in the lives of those who might be struggling by having regular, meaningful conversations and connecting in the best ways that we can amongst the challenges of COVID-19,” Ms. Bath concluded.

World Suicide Prevention Day is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).

World Suicide Prevention Day is the time to be aware, seek help, and reach out if you are struggling.

If you are experiencing distress and would like to talk with someone on the phone or over the web, then please call QLife on 1800 184 527 or go to www.qlife.org.au

Media Contact:  Nicky Bath, Chief Executive Officer 

Mobile: 0432 328 706 | Email: Nicky.bath@lgbtihealth.org.au  

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ABOUT THE ALLIANCE
The National LGBTI Health Alliance is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people and other sexuality and gender diverse (LGBTI) people and communities.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
The Alliance acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia, their diversity, histories and knowledge and their continuing connections to land and community. We pay our respects to all Australian Indigenous Peoples and their cultures, and to Elders of past, present and future generations.