AIHW releases LGBTIQ+ National Suicide Data

Posted 24th July 2023 in Sector news

On July 7, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National (AIHW) released data exploring suicidal thoughts and behaviours amongst LGBTIQ+ Australians.

The release draws upon data from the Private Lives 3 (PL3) community survey run by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University.

The PL3 dataset holds valuable information on the experiences of 6,835 LGBTIQ+ Australians.

Key findings include:

  • Around three-quarters (75%) of participants had experienced suicidal thoughts in their lifetime.
  • Around one-third (30%) of participants reported having attempted suicide in their lifetime.
  • The prevalence of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts varied by sexual orientation. Pansexual and queer respondents were more likely to experience recent and lifetime suicidal thoughts and lifetime suicide attempts.
  • Trans and non-binary participants were more likely to have experienced recent and lifetime suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts than cisgender men and women.

Data from AIHW Suicide Monitoring LGBTIQ+ Australians release are summarised here.

LGBTIQ+ Data in Australia

There are currently no reliable national data on rates of suicide and self-harm among LGBTIQ+ communities in Australia. The primary available data comes from community surveys like Private Lives 3.

These surveys give insight into the experiences of thousands of LGBTIQ+ Australians. However, Private Lives 3 uses a non-probability convenience sample, so results may not be representative of the LGBTIQ+ community.

The recent release highlights that more effort is needed to improve data collection to capture the experiences of LGBTIQ+ people better.

Data reform is included in the Beyond Urgent: National LGBTIQ+ Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy. Key actions include:

  • Capturing LGBTIQ+ people in census data
  • Embedding Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020 Standard in all national minimum datasets
  • Reviewing national and state-based health and coronial reporting to capture LGBTIQ+ individuals adequately.

LGBTIQ+ Health Alliance calls for care using LGBTIQ+ content on AIHW National Suicide and Self Harm Monitoring System.

Our communities know what supports are needed, and the government must ensure there is adequate investment for health care services, as well as accurate data, effective systems and ultimately the creation of a supportive, inclusive society which all LGBTIQ+ people and their families can thrive in."

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia CEO, Nicky Bath

AIHW will publish data on suicidal thoughts, attempts, and self-harm among young LGBTQA+ Australians in later 2023, using data from Writing Themselves In 4.

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