The National LGBTI Health Alliance welcomes the launch this week of the Department of Health funded website by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), noting that the new system will not be able to monitor everyone.
The National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring Project claims that it will provide a key resource for governments, services and communities to better respond to suicide and self-harm by informing the development of policy and service planning, and by enabling the identification of trends, emerging areas of concern and priority groups.
Nicky Bath, CEO of the Alliance, stated: “Without a doubt this system is needed and will support services, governments and communities to have greater understanding of suicide, intentional self-harm and suicide risk. Nevertheless, systems are only as robust as the data that informs them and the data inputs, in the National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring System are not able to capture data relating to people from LGBTI communities.”
The Australian Bureau of Statistics and coronial offices, existing national morbidity and mortality data and national survey data exclude the important indicators that are required to monitor our communities and this is also the case for the new national data from state and territory ambulance services. Despite our communities’ great needs due to the disproportionate numbers that experience poorer mental health outcomes and the higher risk of suicidal behaviours across our communities, we are left in the dark and will not benefit from this system.
“Despite extensive advocacy and awareness-raising the Alliance, its member organisations and partners have been unsuccessful in convincing the Government that appropriate gender, sexuality and intersex status questions are required in the national Census and across national data sets. This is a prime example of why this data is urgently needed. We will continue to advocate for these data sets and indicators and urge the Government to rethink its decision regarding the 2021 Census and decide to include the required indicators so that we can be counted as others are. We need to urgently respond to suicide in our communities and to do this well, we need to be counted – are lives are as important as everyone else.” concluded Nicky Bath.
Media Contact: Nicky Bath, Chief Executive Officer
Mobile: 0432 328 706Email: [email protected]