Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) populations
It is important to acknowledge that statistics relating to suicide and mental illness in LGBTI communities are not routinely collected. While there is currently no population based data on completed suicides by LGBTI people in Australia, recent research has indicated that mental ill-health, self-harm, suicide attempt and suicidal ideation rates within these communities are disproportionately higher.
The National LGBTI Health Alliance Snapshot of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Statistics for LGBTI People (July 2016) states:
- LGBT people aged 16 and over scored an average K10 score of 19.6, indicating moderate psychological distress
- 15.15% of LGBTI people aged 16 and over report current thoughts of suicide in the past 2 weeks
- 37.2% LGBT people aged 16 and over reported being diagnosed or treated for any mental disorder in the past three years
- 35% of Transgender people aged 18 and over have attempted suicide in their lifetime
- 60% of people with an intersex variation aged 16 and over had thought about suicide on the basis of issues related to having congenital sex variation
- 20.3% LGBTI people aged 16 and over reported that they had been diagnosed with anxiety in their lifetime
- 30.5% of LGBT people aged 16 and over have been diagnosed or treated for depression in the last three years
- 16% of LGBTI young people aged 16 to 27 reported that they had attempted suicide.
Private Lives 2 (2012) surveyed almost 4,000 LGBT people and found:
- High rates of depression in same-sex attracted men (24% of sample), same-sex attracted women (33%), and transgender men (38%) and women (50%)
- Nearly 80% had experienced at least one episode of intense anxiety in the 12-months prior to completing the survey.
Further current research is available from http://lgbtihealth.org.au/hub/
To support safe and responsible reporting of suicide and mental illness in LGBTI communities a quick reference card has been developed in partnership with the National LGBTI Health Alliance. The resources were developed following a comprehensive consultation period to assess the needs of groups when reporting suicide and mental illness. Organisations involved in the development of the resource included:
- National LGBTI Health Alliance
- JOY 94.9
- Star Observer
- Gay News Network
- Mindframe Media Advisory Group.