North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) has been running a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer (LGBTIQ) Suicide Prevention Trial since July 2017.

The trial is one of 12 population-based suicide prevention trials, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health, across 12 of Australia’s 31 Primary Health Networks.

Many LGBTIQ Australians live healthy and happy lives. However, a disproportionate number of LGBTIQ people experience poorer mental health outcomes and have higher risk of suicidal behaviours compared to their peers outside the LGBTIQ community.

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

Note: NWMPHN is 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 PHNs.

Insight

Many representatives of LGBTIQ organisations and advocacy bodies and people with lived experience have volunteered their time as participants on our LGBTIQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce. This 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.

Together we have 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).

Ongoing activities

Following a rigorous procurement process to identify the most suitable providers, the following organisations were commissioned to implement the interventions identified above:

  • Mind Australia have designed a model of Aftercare in consultation and collaboration with LGBTIQ organisations and advocacy groups. Referrals can be made by email to aftercare@mindaustralia.org.au or by calling the Mind Equality Centre on 1300 054 284.   
  • Drummond Street Services are delivering mentorship models for individuals and families to address contributing factors to LGBTIQ suicide, such as building resilience, improving social connectedness, giving skills to navigate services and enhancing family cohesion. Referrals can be made by calling 03 9663 6733.
  • Switchboard are developing an adaptable postvention plan for the LGBTIQ community.
  • Thorne Harbour Health are delivering a tailored affirmative practice training package for mental health services, frontline workers and general practitioners. For more information contact 03 9865 6700.
  • LivingWorks Australia have co-designed LGBTIQ suicide prevention and intervention training (ASIST and safeTALK) to better represent the needs of the LGBTIQ community. LivingWorks Australia are delivering ASIST Training for Trainers and safeTALK to representatives from LGBTIQ health organisations who, once qualified, will be delivering ASIST and safeTALK across the NWMPHN region. Contact 1300 738 382 for more information.

New activities

New activities to be undertaken in 2020-2021 include:

  • LGBTIQ community awareness campaign: The Shannon Company will lead a co-design process with the Taskforce and broader community to develop a community awareness campaign to:
    • Improve understanding, awareness and compassion of the poorer mental health and suicidality outcomes for the LGBTIQ community
    • Promote supportive and responsive communities
    • Improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ people, families and communities
  • 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 support.

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

The Trial is due to end in June 2021 but we are focusing on building strong, sustainable networks that will last beyond the life of the Trial.

Resources

  • Online suicide prevention training
    Free online suicide prevention training is available for anyone who lives in the NWMPHN region:

  • Sporting Club Guide – What to do if a club member dies by suspected suicide
    This guide has been developed to provide guidance about how what to say and how to support the club following the suspect suicide death of a member. If you would like a copy of the guide, please contact suicideprevention@nwmphn.org.au

Other suicide prevention and postvention services

NWMPHN funds a number of providers to deliver suicide prevention services and support after suicide (postvention) in their local area. Health professionals can use our system of care search tool to find out who can benefit from these services, referral pathways and forms, and where they are delivered across the region.

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

Documents

  November 2019 update (.pdf, 385KB)

Find out more

Contact us to find out more about suicide prevention activities in our region.

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: