The 2021 Snapshot of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Statistics for LGBTIQ+ People, recently released by LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, provides a picture of what is known of the current mental health and wellbeing outcomes of LGBTIQ+ people in Australia.
The 2021 statistics show that LGBTIQ+ people are more likely to have thoughts of and attempt suicide when compared to the general population.
Some of the key statistics* highlighted in the update include:
- LGBTQA+ young people aged 16 to 17 were almost three times more likely to have attempted suicide in the past 12 months and nearly five times more likely to have attempted suicide in their lifetime.
- 59.1% of LGBTQA+ young people aged 16 to 17 reported having experienced suicidal ideation in the past 12 months.
- 58.2% of LGBTQA+ young people aged 14 to 21 had seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months
- 41.9% of LGBTIA+ people aged 18 and over reported that they had considered attempting suicide in the previous 12 months, and 74.8% had considered attempting suicide at some point during their lives
- Transgender people aged 14-25 are fifteen times more likely to have attempted suicide in the past 12 months
- 58.2% of LGBTQA+ young people aged 14 to 21 had seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months, and 24.4% had made a suicide plan in the past 12 months.
The research reveals that a disproportionate number of LGBTIQ+ people experience poorer mental health outcomes and have a higher risk of suicidal behaviours than their peers. This is often directly related to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and abuse based on being LGBTIQ+.
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia CEO, Nicky Bath
“It is time for the lives of LGBTIQ+ people to be valued and for our health needs to be taken seriously. We need to work together to reduce health disparities that cause harm to our communities each and every day. There needs to be an urgent, whole-of-government national response that is coordinated with the states and territories, and includes well-resourced LGBTIQ+ community-controlled health organisations, to address the health and wellbeing needs of LGBTIQ+ communities.”
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia has also collaborated with the Australian Bureau of Statistics to update the new Australian Bureau of Statistics Standard for Sex, Gender, Variation of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables, 2020 ('2020 Standard'). This move was essential to standardise the collection and dissemination of data relating to sex, gender, variations of sex characteristics and sexual orientation. These standards can be used by government, academic and private sector organisations in their own statistical collections to improve the comparability and quality of data.
In addition, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia recently released its 2021 Policy Priorities, aiming to support the development of a more robust platform to undertake advocacy, and drive national reform to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for LGBTIQ+ people and communities across Australia.
The document outlines eight Priority Areas with specific policy recommendations to address these ongoing issues and applies an intersectional lens to the health and wellbeing needs of LGBTIQ+ people. This is fundamental to designing and implementing effective programs to improve overall health outcomes.
When reading suicide data, it is important to remember that each number represents a life lost and the individuals, families, workplaces, and communities impacted by suicide.
If you or someone you know has been impacted by this information or needs help, please phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back on 1300 659 467. If you are in immediate danger, phone emergency services on 000.