Conference Stream: Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Presenter: Delaney Skerrett
Presentation Title: Life Stories through Life Charts: A Qualitative Analysis of Predictive Factors for Suicide in LGBT Populations in Australia
Program schedule: Friday 14 August 2015 at 14:20
Duration: 20 mins
There is evidence for a greater risk of poor mental health outcomes and non-fatal suicidal behaviours in LGBT populations in the Australian and international contexts. The authors’ own previously published research and a small number of international studies also point to specific factors surrounding suicide death among LGBT individuals. This presentation provides an analysis of 27 psychological autopsy interviews that were conducted with those close to LGBT people who died by suicide in Australia. Through the construction of life charts, this provides an in-depth analysis of the life stories of these individuals and the factors and pathways associated with their decision to take their own life. The findings reveal a subgroup of cases where the suicide was closely associated with issues related to sexuality or gender and a further subdivision between suicides temporally proximal to coming out milestones and those that were more distal. Other defining features of these groups are discussed. Although based on a limited number of cases, the findings of this study—the first of its kind in Australia—suggest that LGBT people require targeted approaches in mental, general health, and other services and that efforts should continue to be made to reduce stigma related to minority sexualities and genders.