A digital suicide prevention hub to reduce suicidality and suicide attempts in sexuality and gender diverse communities in NSW has been launched by the state’s leading LGBTQ health organisation, ACON.
HERE.org.au is a new digital platform which will provide information on suicide and situational distress, and connect LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones, along with service providers in NSW, to care, support and resources.
Funded by the NSW Government as part of the Premier’s Priority to reduce the suicide rate in NSW by 20 per cent by 2023, HERE compiles information and support about suicide for the LGBTQ+ community.
“Research shows that LGBTQ people are at a significant increased risk of a range of preventable health problems, including situational distress, suicidal ideation and suicide, much of which are attributed to experiences or fears of discrimination, stigma, social exclusion, and abuse,” ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said.
“LGBTQ+ people in Australia are between 3 to 19 times more likely to attempt suicide or self-injury than the general Australian population, and experience suicidal ideation at even higher rates. Over the past few years, these experiences have been exacerbated for many in our communities.
“Our communities also experience significant barriers and limitations to support when navigating the complexity of the healthcare system. When in crisis, this can be overwhelming, especially when coupled with concerns around suicide support services being inclusive and affirming. Our communities are also less likely to call emergency services such as 000.
“With this in mind, HERE.org.au has been extensively and carefully designed to not only link our communities in with well-established and respected service providers, but also peer-led LGBTQ+ specific suicide prevention services and resources that elevate the power of lived experience.”
HERE.org.au will also provide specific support and resources for LGBTQ+ people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including Sistergirls and Brotherboys and other trans mob, trans and gender diverse communities, people living with disability or long-term health conditions, and people from culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Parkhill added: “With a goal of reducing suicide for everyone within our LGBTQ+ communities, it’s vital that any service ACON provides acknowledges the impact that intersectionality can have on people seeking services and suicide prevention support, and what needs to be done to provide help in culturally appropriate ways.”
“For LGBTQ+ people from all backgrounds, having access to targeted and inclusive resources and services contributes to developing positive mental wellbeing and protection against suicide.
“ACON welcomes this funding from the NSW Government in line with the Premier’s Towards Zero Suicides goal, which will enable us to not only shine a light on mental health issues and suicide within our community, but also further support the strength and resilience of LGBTQ+ people.”
Visit HERE.org.au for more information.
David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications
E: [email protected] T: (02) 9206 2044 M: 0428 477 042