Much needed funding has been announced by the Gillard government to assist in combating the rising rate of suicide among the LGBTQI community.

Suicide rates among people in Australia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities will be tackled with a $1.1 million Gillard Government grant.
The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler today announced the Gillard Government will provide $1.1 million over two and a half years to the National LGBTI Health Alliance for MindOUT, a new national mental health and suicide prevention project.
“The LGBTI community reports higher levels of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems with evidence suggesting they are 3.5 to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general community,” Mr Butler said.
“The MindOUT proiect will help address these needs by building the capacity of the LGBTI community members and mainstream health services to respond more effectively.
“As the peak national body representing organisations and individuals that work to improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTI Australians, the Alliance is best placed to lead this important project which I’m confident will lead to better support and service provision for the LGBTI community.
“During the 2010 election, we committed to take action against suicide, particularly for high risk groups such as the LGBTI community. Today’s announcement shows we are delivering on this commitment.”
The National LGBTI Alliance welcomed the new funding.
“The medical and scientific evidence concerning increased suicide by queer people is clear. Now we have a chance to respond to this and offer national frameworks for training for both LGBTI and mainstream mental health services,” Dani Wright, Chair of the Alliance’s Mental Health Working Group said.
“We know the problem all too well. What we need to do is to learn more about which interventions are most effective for LGBTI people. The needs of young gay men in rural areas will be different to those of transgender and intersex people. We need a comprehensive approach. The Alliance is committed to that.
“The Alliance will be undertaking work in policy and capacity development for the LGBTI and mainstream, mental health sectors.
“We will be working with our members to develop national approaches to mental health and suicide prevention, building on the great work already taking place, but sharing it nationally.”
Alliance Board Chair, Paul Martin, said that “mental health is an important priority. The funding is a recognition by the Australian Government that LGBTI health concerns are an important part of a health system which respects diversity and social inclusion.”
Paul Martin said that the mental health project would not limit the Alliance’s other high priorities which include aged care for LGBTI people, sex and gender diversity health issues, and research into LGBTI health needs.