LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) has welcomed the release of new data providing a clearer picture on the risk of mental health, self-harm and suicide for LGBTIQ+ communities within the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Suicide and Self Harm Monitoring System and called for more work to include broader national data on LGBTIQ+ populations.
The AIHW National Suicide and Self Harm Monitoring System this week released new data drawing on Private Lives 3 and Writing Themselves In 4, Australia’s largest surveys of LGBTQ+ adults and LGBTQA+ young people conducted by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS).
“LGBTIQ+ Health Australia worked with AIHW to get this data included in the National Suicide and Self Harm Monitoring System. This information helps provide a clearer picture of who, within our LGBTIQ+ communities, is at greatest risk of mental ill health, self-harm and suicide,” LHA CEO Nicky Bath said.
“The information highlights the need to foster protective factors that promote mental health and wellbeing—such as creating a sense of belonging, establishing support networks and relationships, and ensuring trans and gender diverse people have access to gender affirming health care. This information is critical in the development of the new 10 Year National LGBTIQA+ Health and Wellbeing Action Plan that is currently in development.
“We welcome this new data, while calling for governments at all levels to better capture relevant data on LGBTIQ+ populations and for it to be included in the National Suicide and Self Harm Monitoring System.
“There is more we need to know to effectively address disproportionately poor mental health and risks of suicidal behaviours experienced by our communities,” Nicky Bath said.
LHA is seeking greater investment in systems that record data on LGBTIQ+ people, including embedding into government minimum data sets and funded research the ABS Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables (the 2020 Standard).
LHA is also calling on the Australian Government to secure ongoing funding for Private Lives 3 and Writing Themselves In 4, that remains unfunded and new rounds of the studies are overdue.
Media contact: Tammy Wayne-Elliot, Managing Director, Fifty Acres, 0414 428 440