The National LGBTI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy was launched in February 2017 by the National LGBTI Health Alliance to systematically address the dramatic over-representation of LGBTI people in measures of suicidality and mental ill-health through a nationally coordinated response. The premise of this document is that meaningful inclusion of LGBTI populations within mental health and suicide prevention policies, strategies, frameworks, and initiatives is not only long overdue, but essential if targets to reduce suicide in Australia are to be achieved. Following its release, a series of roundtables were facilitated across Australia with LGBTI communities to orient the sector to the document, and to identify actions and activities that would facilitate implementation of the strategic principles and goals. These collaborations revealed that the document was lacking adequate inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. Tasked with implementation of the strategy, the MindOUT project has focused on embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in to the strategy. This foundational work will ensure the resulting activities will adequately address the elevated risks of suicide and poor mental health across all LGBTI populations. This presentation will explore the first 12 months of National LGBTI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy, and offer insights to the process of implementing a coordinated, evidence-based strategy for effective mental health and suicide prevention and intervention.
Sally Morris is the co-founder of Wendybird, a LGBTIQ community group that is working to grow a safer and supportive community that is diverse, welcoming and inclusive, where all people can experience meaningful connection and belonging. With a long association with facilitating support for LGBTI communities, Sally is currently completing her Masters in Development Practice (Community Development) at the University of Queensland
Charlie Willbridge joined the Alliance in 2015 as a project officer with the National Mindout project. They came to the role with extensive experience within the LGBTI sector as a specialist counsellor and youth worker with the NSW based service Twenty10 incorporating GLCS. Charlie’s combined 18 years of experience in counselling, community work, health promotion and retail business and team management gives them a holistic approach to their work and a diverse understanding of issues affecting the social services, health and welfare sectors in Australia. Charlie has studied at the Australian College of Applied Psychology and is currently undertaking post graduate studies in Public Health/Health Promotion.