1 August 2009
Suicide and self-harm in GLBT communities remains an issue of serious concern in Australia. Available research continues to demonstrate that the prevalence and rates of self-harm and attempted suicide are significantly higher amongst GLBT people than among non-GLBT populations — though the prevalence of completed suicide statistics remains unknown. Many researchers acknowledge that it is extremely difficult to estimate reliable suicide mortality rates for this population and that, consequently, GLBT people may currently be under-represented in suicide death statistics. Suicide Prevention Australia also recognises that SSA and gender diverse people are not homogenous, and that different approaches will be required to meet the varying and unique needs of these communities. It is particularly important to develop strategies to reach individuals who do not identify closely with the GLBT community in order to ensure that they receive appropriate support Suicide Prevention Australia was pleased to have The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG (Retired Justice of the High Court of Australia) launch our Position Statement on Suicide and self-harm among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Communities on 31 August, 2009. Speakers at the launch included Associate Professor Anne Mitchell, Director of Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria and Manager of the Community Liaison and Education Unit at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, and Dr. Michael Dudley, SPA Chairperson and member of the Australian Suicide Prevention Advisory Council (to the Federal Minister for Health & Ageing, The Hon. Nicola Roxon, MP). Suicide Prevention Australia is grateful to the Inspire Foundation for hosting the launch.