National LGBTIQ suicide prevention trial

Many LGBTIQ Australians live healthy and happy lives. But the LGBTIQ population continues to have poorer mental health outcomes than the broader population, and an above-average risk of suicidal behaviours.

Daisy Dinnage from Mind Australia sitting on grass.
Daisy Dinnage from Mind Australia works to provide suicide prevention and aftercare support for the LGBTIQ community.

In partnership with the strong LGBTIQ community in the region, we are leading change through a National Suicide Prevention Trial aimed at reducing suicide rates for local LGBTIQ people.

The trial, funded by the Australian Government, started in July 2017, and undertook significant activities in 2019–20. These commissioned activities, co-designed with the LGBTIQ Taskforce, included:

  • an LGBTIQ-focused suicide aftercare program
  • mentoring for LGBTIQ youth and families
  • LGBTIQ-specific suicide prevention training
  • development of an LGBTIQ postvention plan
  • affirmative practice training programs for frontline workers.

The LGBTIQ suicide prevention trial is due to end in June 2021, but our focus has been to build strong, sustainable networks that will endure beyond the life of the trial.

Providers and services

  • Switchboard is also delivering suicide awareness and suicide intervention skills training, and developing an adaptable postvention (support after suicide) plan for the LGBTIQ community.
  • Thorne Harbour Health is delivering a tailored affirmative practice training package for mental health workers, general practitioners and other frontline workers. For more information, phone 03 9865 6700.
  • LivingWorks Australia has co-designed and are delivering LGBTIQ suicide prevention and intervention training (ASIST and safeTALK) to better represent the needs of the LGBTIQ community. This includes delivering ASIST Training for Trainers and safeTALK Training for Trainers to representatives from LGBTIQ health organisations who, once qualified, will deliver ASIST and safeTALK across the NWMPHN region. Phone 1300 738 382 for more information.

Note: We are working separately with the Victorian Government on two place-based suicide prevention trials, in Melton/Brimbank and the Macedon Ranges, as part of a statewide project involving all six Victorian primary health networks.


Insight

Many representatives of LGBTIQ organisations and advocacy bodies, and people with lived experience of suicide and mental ill health, have volunteered on our LGBTIQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce.

The taskforce has played a pivotal role in guiding the planning and design of the trial, providing valuable knowledge and insight about the unique needs and experiences of both consumers and service providers.

It has also helped implement and monitor new services, ensuring they are appropriate and responsive to the LGBTIQ community.

Together with the taskforce, we established a model and framework specifically for the LGBTIQ community, adapted from the Lifespan model, which prioritises eleven focused interventions across five key areas (individual, community, service system, LGBTIQ community and society).

Our LGBTIQ suicide prevention framework (based on the Lifespan model).

Resources

LGBTIQ suicide prevention trial updates

Education and training


New activities for 2021

  • LGBTIQ community awareness campaign: Speaking Up Speaks Volumes

    The ‘Speaking Up Speaks Volumes’ campaign aims to raise awareness and activate silent supporters in the wider community to change behaviour that excludes, discriminates or isolates people who are LGBTIQ+.

    The campaign draws from a strength-based approach to suicide prevention and community awareness of LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing. It was informed by the LGBTIQ+ Taskforce Framework, which the taskforce developed by reviewing literature and research, and engaging with many stakeholders.

    Through this campaign the Taskforce set out to:

    • improve understanding and awareness of, and compassion for, the LGBTIQ+ community’s poorer mental health and higher risk of suicide
    • promote supportive and responsive communities
    • improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ people, families and communities

    Feedback on the campaign’s concepts was sought from more than 1000 people in the wider community. The campaign strength is in the real stories of support from people in the community, leading the way for others to share.

    The campaign promotion is lead by grass roots support from a network of community champions across the NWMPHN region.  Promotion is targeted to the whole community in the north and western of Melbourne. Channels include social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and digital display advertising will be located in shopping malls, gyms and petrol stations.

    The campaign will be formally evaluated so it can be shared, used and improved to support other communities.

    We sincerely thank the participants who volunteered to share their stories and be part of the campaign.

    The Speaking Up Speaks Volumes campaign has been developed by The Shannon Company, with support from Benedictus Media, BehaviourWorks Australia and The Producers.

    If you would like to know more about us, the trial or how to get involved, please contact suicide.prevention@nwmphn.org.au

     speakingupspeaksvolumes.org.au

  • LGBTIQ Lived Experience in Suicide Prevention Research Project

    The Australian Centre for Sex, Health and Society will undertake a multi-method study to explore the diversity and nature of informal mental health and suicide prevention support provided by peers and LGBTIQ community leaders. The study will make recommendations on how to improve supports for this cohort.

    If you are interested in being involved in either of these activities or would like more information, please contact Jo Read: jo.read@nwmphn.org.au


Other suicide prevention and postvention services

We fund a number of providers to deliver local suicide prevention services and support after suicide (postvention). Health professionals can use our System of Care search tool to find out where these services are delivered and who can benefit from them, and to access referral pathways and forms.

Health professionals can also find clinical and referral information for local suicide prevention and postvention services on HealthPathways Melbourne.



Seeking urgent help

If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 000, visit your nearest hospital emergency or use any of the crisis helplines: