Mardi Gras shines light on LGBTIQ+ health

Posted 4th March 2022 in Sector news

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras runs from 18 February to 6 March 2022, with the Mardi Gras parade held on Saturday 5 March. Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is committed to education on LGBTIQ+ health and inclusivity.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) people, as well as others of diverse bodies, sexualities and genders (+), are identified as a priority population for suicide prevention in Australia, and are identified as having a higher risk of suicidal behaviours than other Australians.

Compared to the general population, LGBTIQ+ people are more likely to attempt suicide, have thoughts of suicide, or have engaged in self-harm, in their lifetime. For example, LGBTIQ+ young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide in their lifetime, with 16% reporting that they had attempted suicide.

Evidence demonstrates that the elevated risk of suicidality among LGBTIQ+ people and communities is not related to sexuality, gender identity or intersex characteristics in and of themselves. Instead, research suggests psychological distress resulting from experiences of discrimination, prejudice, abuse and exclusion in relation to their LGBTIQ+ identity, experience or history.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras draws attention to the challenges experienced by LGBTIQ+ people and aims to encourage inclusivity while educating the public on the discrimination and stigma. The event is a community-based initiative that supports the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBTIQ+, providing an outlet for pride, community connection and involvement supporting a community-based approach to suicide prevention.

If you or someone you know feels overwhelmed, QLife offers free phone (1800 184 527) and webchat support services 3pm-midnight every day. Alternatively, Lifeline crisis support is available 24/7 via phone (13 11 14) or text (0477 131 114).

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