More than 40% of young LGBTIQ people seeking help are at high risk of suicide – almost double the rate for their heterosexual peers – youth mental health service ReachOut revealed today.

ReachOut CEO Jono Nicholas said the study of nearly 2000 young Australians showed young people identifying as LGBTIQ were an “incredibly vulnerable group” and reiterated why mental health groups were so concerned about the significant spikes in people seeking help during the postal survey period.

Mr Nicholas said the findings also demonstrated the importance of mental health groups presenting the public with plain facts via their #mindthefacts campaign in a bid to help “change minds, change votes and change lives” and secure an overall ‘Yes’ vote.

“There’s been a lot of distractions and political games this campaign, but there’s one fact Australians can’t ignore – a Vote ‘Yes’ for marriage equality will help reduce the negative impacts discrimination is currently having on the mental health of young LGBTIQ people and hopefully save lives,” he said.

“Some of these statistics are confronting, but so are the mental health impacts of trauma and discrimination, including this ongoing debate, on LGBTIQ young people, their family and friends.

“If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the whole topic, then we simply ask people to #mindthefacts and ask themselves how they would feel if they were blocked from marrying the person they love.

“Chances are you’d feel discriminated against too, which is why we’re asking people to Vote ‘Yes’.”

Last week, the Black Dog Institute, headspace, ReachOut, Brain and Mind Centre at University of Sydney and Orygen, the National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health launched #mindthefacts to ask Australians to consider the real and devastating link between discrimination and negative mental health impacts for young LGBTIQ people when voting in the marriage equality postal survey.

DATA HIGHLIGHTS

(full extract: Extract Data ReachOut SIQ)

In a longitudinal study of nearly 2000 young Australians aged 16-25 who used ReachOut:

  • Nearly half of all LGBTIQ young people surveyed (42.7 per cent) were at high risk of suicide, compared to 23.1 per cent for those who identified as heterosexual.
  • The top three reasons young LGBTIQ people visit ReachOut is for help with depression, anxiety and suicide, while suicide did not factor in the top three for heterosexual young people.
  • Young LGBTIQ people were more likely to come to ReachOut for help with sexuality issues and being at risk of harm, including self-harm, abuse and violence.

WHERE TO GET HELP:

Media organisations looking to direct young people impacted by the debate around the same sex marriage postal survey are encouraged to include the below contacts for youth-specific mental health support.

Need help now:

Support services:

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SPOKESPEOPLE and MEDIA CONTACT:

ReachOut:
Jono Nicholas, Chief Executive Officer
Media contact:
Liza Davis
Director of Strategic Communications and Government Relations
0418 164 231
liza@reachout.com

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