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Supporting LGBTQA+ youth in mental health settings

Supporting LGBTQA+ youth in mental health settings

LGBTQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, asexual, and other diverse sexualities and genders) young people aged 14-25 are at high risk of suicide. Various studies have estimated LGBTQA+ young people to be between two to six times as likely to report thinking about suicide, engaging in suicidal behaviour, and/or have made a suicide attempt, compared to their heterosexual and cisgender peers. This population also experiences many barriers to mental health services.

Dr Strauss recently led interviews with LGBTQA+ young people with a lived experience of suicidal thoughts and/or attempts to explore coping methods used during periods of suicidal crisis, as well as discussing ways in which mental health providers can be more inclusive and welcoming to LGBTQA+ young people. The findings from the interviews have been used to inform the development of suicide prevention guidelines for LGBTQA+ young people within mental health settings using the Delphi consensus method. As there are no existing guidelines for preventing suicide in LGBTQA+ young people, these guidelines have the potential to improve the care received by LGBTQA+ young people who are at risk for, or experience suicidal ideation and/or attempts.

This presentation will discuss various ways in which suicide can be prevented in LGBTQA+ young people within mental health settings based on this research.

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