Suicide up to 14 times more likely for "queer" groups

Carolyn Moynihan
26 Aug 2011
Reproduced with Permission

Australian government sources reveal that homosexuals and people of other self-identified genders are much more likely to attempt suicide than the general community.

Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Paul Butler, says:

"The LGBTI community reports higher levels of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems with evidence suggesting they are 3.5 to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general community," Mr Butler said.

Why? On the face of it, the figures suggest that encouraging these sexual identities is bad for people. But the minister does not give us the benefit of any independent research on this very serious problem. Instead he announces that he is giving $1.1 million to the National LGBTI Health Alliance for MindOUT (get it? OUT?).

"The MindOUT proiect will help address these needs by building the capacity of the LGBTI community members and mainstream health services to respond more effectively.

"As the peak national body representing organisations and individuals that work to improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTI Australians, the Alliance is best placed to lead this important project which I'm confident will lead to better support and service provision for the LGBTI community."

What are the mental health qualifications of this alliance? What evidence is there that they can help prevent suicide? Does anyone care, so long as "diversity and social inclusion" are affirmed?