Rainbow Love & Suicide
Summary: A snapshot from the NSPC 2015, where Living Proud, WA won a LiFE Award in recognition for their amazing work in suicide prevention in the LGBTIQ community.
I just spent the last three days at the National Suicide Prevention Conference in Hobart. Among many striking insights, I learned that the LGBTI community are 14 times more likely to die by suicide. Periods of high risk for suicide include the 6-12 months prior to coming out – when they are grappling with their secret & when they are questioning if they can cope with family/friends/community reactions to this.
We can all make a difference to the lives of our LGBTI friends by being inclusive & respectful in our language, expressions & behaviours. We must foster environments – school, work, home & community – to be places where it is genuinely safe to come out – if/when they are ready. Being LGBTI is not the risk for suicide – it’s society’s attitudes & actions towards someone which creates the risk & we all must take responsibility in that.
Thank you to the amazing presentations and stories of lived experience offered at the NSPC 2015 – Your stories promote recognition of the horrific impact of homophobia and gender based bullying on peoples lives.
Also congratulations to Living Proud, WA for your work in promoting the wellbeing of LGBTI, queer and other sexuality, sex and gender diverse people – the LiFE Award is certainly well deserved.
First published 29 July 2015