Snapshot of mental health and suicide prevention statistics for LGBTI people

The National LGBTI Health Alliance (The Alliance), February 2020

Although many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Australians live healthy and happy lives, research has demonstrated that a disproportionate number experience poorer mental health outcomes and have higher risk of suicidal behaviours than their peers.

These health outcomes are directly related to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination and abuse on the basis of being LGBTI. This document aims to provide a snapshot of what is known of the current mental health and wellbeing outcomes of LGBTI people in Australia.

Call for allies to step up with LGBTQ distress ‘worse than after postal survey’

Sydney Morning Herald, February 23, 2020

Four out of five LGBTQ+ people say they feel worse now than they did after the “yes” vote on same-sex marriage, describing the debate over religious discrimination as “Marriage Equality 2.0” because it is amplifying negative voices.

The findings are from the Make Love Louder report by Macquarie University researcher Shirleene Robinson.

It found three out of four LGBTQ+ Australians have personally experienced negativity or discrimination on the basis of their sexual or gender identity and one in four experience it on a daily basis. For transgender Australians, four out of five have experienced it, two out of five on a daily basis.

The research suggests 63 per cent of Australians support the LGBTQ+ community, but three out of four of these, dubbed allies, are “silent supporters”. Dr Robinson said it was important for allies to be vocal to “make love louder than hate”.

Meanwhile, separate research by mental health charity Headspace found most LGBTQ+ young people experience high or very high psychological distress.

 

 

Life satisfaction and mental health among transgender students

Life satisfaction and mental health among transgender students in Norway

Anderssen, N., Sivertsen, B., Lønning, K.J. et al.

BMC Public Health 20, 138 (2020)

Background

Social attitudes to transgender persons and other gender minorities vary around the world, and in many cultures, prejudices and social stigma are common. Consequently, transgender persons face challenges related to discrimination and negative attitudes among the public. The purpose of this study was to compare life satisfaction, loneliness, mental health, and suicidal behavior among transgender students with cisgender students’ experiences in a nationwide sample of Norwegian students pursuing higher education.

Methods

In total,50,054 full-time Norwegian students completed an online questionnaire (response rate 30.8%), of whom 15,399 were cisgender males, 34,437 cisgender females, 28 individuals who reported being binary transgender (12 transwomen and 16 transmen), and 69 individuals non-binary transgender persons. The measures included questions concerning gender identity, life satisfaction (Satisfaction With Life Scale), loneliness (The Three-Item Loneliness Scale), mental health problems (Hopkins Symptoms Check List), mental disorders, and suicidal ideation, suicidal behavior, and self-harm. Chi-square tests, Independent-Samples Kruskal-Wallis tests, and logistic regression analyses were used to examine differences between gender identities.

Results

Transgender students reported significantly more psychosocial burdens on all measures. There were no significant differences in any of the measures between the binary and non-binary transgender students.

Conclusion

The findings call for increased awareness about welfare and health for transgender students in Norway. Higher education institutions need to consider measures at various levels to establish a learning environment that is more inclusive for gender minorities.

Understanding LGBTI+ Lives in Crisis (Report)

Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University & Lifeline Australia, February 2019

This research report presents findings of lesbian (L), gay (G), bisexual (B), transgender (T), intersex people (I), and other sexual identity and gender diverse individuals (+) use of crisis support services (CSS) in Australia.

This is the first research of its kind in Australia that explores the needs of LGBTI+ people during a time of personal or mental health crises. It focuses on their uptake and familiarity with crisis support services in Australia, their perceptions and experiences with crisis support services, and where they might seek other professional mental health service support during a time of crisis.

This study enhances the evidence base for those working to design, resource or deliver services to meet the needs of LGBTI people in Australia during times of crisis.

Using Chosen Names Reduces Odds of Depression and Suicide in Transgender Youths

The University of Texas at Austin, Tue, April 3, 2018

In one of the largest and most diverse studies of transgender youths to date, researchers led by a team at The University of Texas at Austin have found that when transgender youths are allowed to use their chosen name in places such as work, school and at home, their risk of depression and suicide drops.     

“Many kids who are transgender have chosen a name that is different than the one that they were given at birth,” said author Stephen T. Russell, professor and chair of human development and family science. “We showed that the more contexts or settings where they were able to use their preferred name, the stronger their mental health was.”

 

SA Govt funds SHINE SA for more mental health support for the LGBTIQ community during marriage equality survey

Ian Hunter MLC, September 16, 2017

The State Government will provide extra mental health and counselling services for the LGBTIQ community due to expected increases in demand while the marriage equality postal survey is conducted.

According to beyondblue, LGBTI Australians have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, self-harming and suicidal thoughts. And they are twice as likely to suffer physical, verbal and emotional abuse.

There is widespread concern throughout the community that these issues will be exacerbated, particularly among young LGBTIQ people, as the nation debates changes to the Marriage Act.

In response, the South Australian Government is providing a one-off payment of $100,000 to SHINE SA to deliver extra services to the LGBTIQ community throughout South Australia.

SHINE SA is the lead agency for health and wellbeing services to the LGBTIQ community in South Australia. With Rainbow Tick accreditation and the state licence to provide HOW2 training for inclusive services, SHINE SA will utilise its strong networks with the LGBTIQ community to provide face-to-face, telephone and online services to people experiencing emotional and mental health issues over the coming months.

Dedicated telephone outreach services for LGBTIQ South Australians living in remote and regional areas that face the additional challenges of distance and isolation will also be provided.