The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National (AIHW) Suicide and Self Harm Monitoring System today provided a new release of data drawing on Private Lives 3, the LGBTQ+ community survey by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS).
LHA CEO Nicky Bath said, “Adverse mental health outcomes are directly related to the stigma, prejudice, discrimination and abuse that LGBTQ+ people have and continue to experience.
“While this information is greatly needed, we must ensure it is not used to fuel hate speech or false claims that being sexuality and/or gender diverse is a driver for suicidality or self-harm.”
Building on the launch of Private Lives 3 in 2020, this AIHW release allows interrogation of the data by state, gender and sexual orientation perspectives. It highlights the need for greater investments in data systems that capture the experiences of LGBTQ people and LHA continues to call for all government minimum data sets and funded research to embed the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables.
LHA, the national peak organisation dedicated to working to promote the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people and communities, and its full member organisations fear misuse of the portal data could exacerbate prejudice for community members and their organisations.
“This data highlights the need to foster protective factors that reduce the likelihood of suicidality — such as creating a sense of belonging, establishing positive support networks and relationships, and ensuring trans and gender diverse Australians have access to affirming health care,” Ms Bath said.
The climate of growing hate speech and misinformation, specifically targeting trans women, trans men, non-binary people and trans young people, means there is an urgent need to address trans health and strengthen legal protections. This new data must not be reported inaccurately or inappropriately to attack LGBTQ+ people through the media, government processes and public debates.
“Our communities know what supports are needed, and the government must ensure there is adequate investment for health care services, as well as accurate data, effective systems and ultimately the creation of a supportive, inclusive society which all LGBTIQ+ people and their families can thrive in,” Ms Bath said.
The AIHW’s data portal can be accessed here. You can also click here to download LHA’s National LGBTIQ+ Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy providing a road map to 2026 to guide mental health outcomes and suicide prevention.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicky Bath, Chief Executive Officer (She/Her)
Mobile: 0432 328 706 | Email: [email protected]