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.

As LGBTIQ Australians have significantly poorer mental health outcomes and suicidality, and recognising that there is a large community within our region, NWMPHN was successful in our application to be a lead site for a suicide prevention trial specifically focused on the LGBTIQ community.

Note: NWMPHN is working separately with the Victorian Government on place-based suicide prevention trials at Melton and Brimbank plus the Macedon Ranges as part of a statewide project involving all six Victorian PHNs. Each Victorian PHN is conducting sites at two different locations, with 12 trials across Victoria in total.

Insight

Building on work that NWMPHN had previously undertaken with the LGBTIQ community, a co-design process with a taskforce made up of representatives of organisations and advocacy bodies, representing the broader LGBTIQ community, and those with lived experience. The taskforce will continue to meet regularly through the life of the trial.

The taskforce drove the design of the trial throughout 2017 and 2018, identifying contributing factors for suicidal behaviours that were then thematically analysed and mapped onto a systems framework. The taskforce used this framework highlight areas of focus and informed the design of activities to be commissioned by NWMPHN to action against the identified priorities:

  • Aftercare – follow-up for a person and/or family following presentation to health care services for suicidal crisis (ideation or attempt).
  • Mentorship– partnering younger and older LGBTIQ people for provision of support during vulnerable times and building resilience. 
  • Affirmative Practice Training– for GPs, emergency departments and mental health services to improve the care for LGBTIQ patients.  
  • Suicide Prevention Training– for GPs, LGBTIQ organisations and peer groups and other relevant groups to improve the community’s identification and response to suicidality. 
  • Other interventions – such as social media engagement, peer leader support, media campaigns and family support. 

Activity

In early 2019 NWMPHN, in consultation with the taskforce, finalised a commissioning process for these activities which are being led by the following organisations:

  • Mind Australia will refine and implement a model of Aftercare in consultation and collaboration with LGBTIQ organisations and advocacy groups;
  • drummond street services will be developing and implementing individual and family mentorship programs with an aim to provide cross-generational support for LGBTIQ people at periods of vulnerability, and will also be focused on building the capacity of existing services to address contributing factors to LGBTIQ suicide;
  • Thorne Harbour Health are developing and implementing a tailored affirmative practice training package for Mental Health Services, frontline staff and General Practitioners; and
  • Livingworks are working with representatives of the LGBTIQ community to refine existing evidence-based methods of suicide prevention and intervention (ASIST and safeTALK) to better represent the unique needs of this complex LGBTIQ cohort. 

Access to free online suicide prevention training (Question, Persuade and Refer) is also available for those who live in the North West of Melbourne.

Find out more

Contact us to find out more about suicide prevention activities in North West 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: