WORKING TOGETHER TO PREVENT SUICIDE: NATIONAL LGBTI HEALTH ALLIANCE STATEMENT ON WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY

Today (10 September 2019) marks World Suicide Prevention Day across the globe and provides a unique opportunity to collectively shine a light on suicide prevention both politically and at a community level.

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 3,128 deaths by suicide in 2017. Globally, it is responsible for over 800,000 deaths.  Significant knowledge gaps remain for LGBTI people and communities.

“This morning I had the honour of attending Suicide Prevention Australia and the Parliamentary Friends of Suicide Prevention, World Suicide Prevention Day Breakfast at Parliament House. It was wonderful to see strong support from all sides of politics for suicide prevention. We were asked to shine a light on suicide prevention each and every day and I am asking that when we do this, that we ensure that we acknowledge LGBTI communities who are too often left in the dark,” said Nicky Bath, Executive Director.

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.

“Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide and it is important to recognise that government policy such as the Religious Discrimination Bill that is currently being considered is not conducive to the government’s zero suicides target.” said Ms Bath.  

Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge. Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. “We still do not know how many LGBTI people die by suicide. This is due to LGBTI indicators not being captured in coroner report data,” said Ms. Bath

“The inclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex questions in national population research, specifically the 2021 Census, and at the health and social service utilisation level is vital if we are to tackle the ongoing significant health disparities among LGBTI people and communities,” Ms. Bath concluded.

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

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, Executive Director

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