Private Lives 3: Australia’s largest national survey of health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ people released


Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University, Friday 13th November 2020

Australia’s largest national survey of health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ people reveals that most feel accepted at work and by family, but more work needs to be done to improve health outcomes. The Private Lives 3 National Report was conducted by researchers at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University and was funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

The survey was conducted from July 2019 to October 2019 and asked 6,835 LGBTIQ adults aged 18 and over about their relationships, families, housing, health, and more.

Findings from the report, launched today and conducted in the second half of 2019, included:

  • 60.7 per cent felt accepted at work; 52.2 per cent among family; 55.3 per cent in educational settings
  • 54.4 per cent were in committed romantic relationships
  • 73.5 per cent indicated marriage equality would have a positive impact in their lives
  • In the past year, 39.5 per cent reported experiencing social exclusion, 34.6 per cent verbal abuse, 23.6 per cent harassment and 14.6 per cent threats of physical violence
  • 22 per cent reported having experienced homelessness
  • In the past year, 41.9 per cent reported having thoughts about suicide; 5.2 per cent reported attempting suicide*
  • In the past year, 10.9 per cent of trans women, 13.7 per cent of trans men and 6.8 per cent of non-binary participants reported a suicide attempt
  • 43.4 per cent of all participants felt accepted when accessing health or support services.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Anthony Lyons said Australia had seen legal and social changes towards greater acceptance over recent years, including marriage equality, but the report highlighted that many people continued to experience stigma, discrimination, violence and abuse.

“This report contains a great deal of vital information about the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ people today and is expected to inform initiatives for improving health and wellbeing outcomes,” Associate Professor Lyons said.

“We are very grateful to the many thousands of people who completed the Private Lives 3 survey, who generously allowed a glimpse into their lives and shared their experiences across many aspects of life.”

This is the third Private Lives report, following surveys conducted in 2005 and 2011. Each survey asks different questions and aims to provide a snapshot of the community at that time.

* These figures are considerably higher compared to best available data on the general population, such as the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, which showed prevalence rates of 2.3 per cent for thoughts about suicide and 0.4 per cent for attempting suicide in the general population.

If you feel distressed reading this post, you can reach out to support services:

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife (3 pm- Midnight, every day) on 1800 184 527 or webchat

Media Contact: Kathryn Powley | | 9479 3491 | 0456 764 37

By J Pope

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