Suicide prevention in LGBTQA+ young people: Best practice guidelines for clinical and community service providers
Telethon Kids Institute (Perth), 5th August 2022
These guidelines are intended to improve insight into the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and questioning, asexual (and those of other diverse sexualities and genders; LGBTQA+) young people.
They were designed to aid service providers working with LGBTQA+ young people at risk of suicide to feel competent and confident that they have the required skills, knowledge, and attitudes to provide care that is appropriate, compassionate, and evidence-informed. These guidelines outline the recommended ways in which service providers can create an affirming environment for responding to and decreasing suicide risk in LGBTQA+ young people presenting to mental health support settings (including hospitals, private clinical settings, community mental health, school psychological, counselling, and chaplaincy services), and other youth support services.
Observing these guidelines will provide services with clear actions and competencies to improve care for LGBTQA+ young people at risk of suicide.
- More than a quarter (25.6%) of LGBTQA+ young people (aged 16 and 17) have attempted suicide in their lifetime, almost five times the rate reported in the general population (5.3%).
- Clinical and community-based professionals often receive inadequate training in LGBTQA+ identities, and the unique needs of this population.
- The guidelines include 290 actionable recommendations for service providers across four key areas: General principles for inclusive practice; Assessment of suicide risk; Considerations for specific populations; and Advocacy.
- The guidelines were developed based of evidence-based recommendations, as well as detailed consultation with clinicians, researchers, stakeholders and young LGBTQA+ people with a lived experience of suicidal thoughts.