Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, the National LGBTI Health Alliance takes a moment remember all people whose lives have been touched by suicide.
We pay particular respects to those people amongst the L, G, B, T, or I communities and populations who have found themselves faced with the challenges of suicide: as individuals, families, friends, care providers, policy makers, researchers, or government agencies.
Our respects extend, beyond the scope of ‘LGBTI’ to those who are part of Aboriginal, Indigenous, and/or Torres Strait Islander communities, those from diverse cultural backgrounds, and those who are a part of the wider diversity of bodies, genders, sexualities, and identities that comprise the Australian population.
As an Alliance of members from across Australia, it is an honour to have this opportunity to develop LGBTI inclusive suicide prevention and mental health supporting projects for people in Australia, and to foster this community of practice.
For the mindOUT project, this is our fifth World Suicide Prevention Day. As a national project, we are reflecting on the gradual changes in the mental health and suicide prevention sector as it moves towards greater recognition and inclusion of LGBTI people, communities, and populations.
When the mindOUT project began, key national mental health and suicide prevention strategies had rare or no mention of L,G,B,T, or I people/populations. Today we are witnessing the emergence of a culture where reports, reviews and research are beginning to clearly identify LGBTI people as a higher risk group and include recommendations that support LGBTI people as a priority population. The data is becoming clearer, and the awareness is rising.
Today we mark WSPD with the launch of two new wonderful resources released by mindframe at the Hunter Institute of Mental Health. These tools were developed in collaboration with mindOUT and recognize the important role that media and communications have to play when reporting on suicide or mental health in LGBTI health contexts.
These tools are part of an increasingly rich suite of resources that outline best practice for mental health and suicide prevention in LGBTI populations. We have provided a summary of some other key resources at the end of this newsletter.
The mindOUT Champions project was established to support cultural inclusion and change within organisations. Champions are based primarily in mainstream organisations and complement the work of mindOUT in LGBTI communities and organisations. We now have 18 Champion organisations on board, and this number is continuing to expand. These organisations have taken up this goal with the belief that all services should be accessible to any person who needs them. This network of organisations is becoming a model for the sector and is leading the way for recognition and broader, innovative inclusion of LGBTI people, communities, and populations.
Of course, there is still much to do. We are working to develop a culture of exchange amongst practitioners, service providers, researchers, and the wider community. We hope to foster an inclusive approach to mental health and suicide prevention that can engage adequately with diverse bodies, genders, relationships, and identities in a deliberate and nuanced way.
Please feel welcome to contact the mindOUT project if you have any ideas about how you, or your organisation could get involved.
- Working Therapeutically with LGBTI Clients: A practice Wisdom resource
- Champions of Inclusion: A Guide to creating LGBIT Inclusive Organisations
- Going Upstream: A framework for promoting the mental health of LGBTI people
- Network mindOUT webinars
- Qlives stories
- Network mindOUT
Important Reports and Tools
- The First Australian National Trans Mental Health Study
- Growing Up Queer
- From Blues to Rainbows: Transgender young people mental health
- Closer look at Private Lives 2
- Beyondblue LGBTI Resources
- Reporting on Suicide in LGBTI Communities
- Reporting on Mental Illness in LGBTI Communities